Program Description

Social Security's Child Insurance Benefits program is federally funded. The U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) administers these benefits for children whose parents meet one of these qualifications:

  • Have worked and earned enough Social Security credits.
  • Are entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits, or deceased.

When a parent becomes disabled or dies, Social Security benefits help to stabilize the family’s financial future.

Program Requirements

To qualify for this benefit, a child must be unmarried, dependent on the parent, and one of the following must apply:

  • Younger than age 18.
  • 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12). 
  • 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22. 

In some cases, a stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child may also qualify for children's benefits. 

To find out if you're eligible for any of Social Security's benefit programs, complete SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

Once you've completed the eligibility screening questionnaire, you'll get a list of benefits for which you may be eligible. Print this page for your records before going to the application site.

Contact Information

Visit SSA's Publications page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

Benefit Categories
family
Family Social Security
umbrella
Insurance Social Security