When Will My Social Security Dependent Child's Benefits End?

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If Social Security has been aiding your dependent child for years, you may be worried about when those benefits end. Rest assured that disabled children will go on receiving benefits after they turn 18, and even some nondisabled children over 18 may still receive benefits. Even if your child no longer qualifies for benefits on your record, she may qualify for her own benefits when she is no longer a minor.


Typically, if your dependent child is receiving Social Security benefits (including Retirement, Disability, Survivor’s and SSI) on your record, she will stop receiving benefits when she turns 18. However, if she is still in grade 12 or lower, she may continue receiving benefits until she graduates or until she turns 19 -- whichever happens first.

Disability Exceptions

The only way a child can receive benefits over age 19 is if he is disabled. In this case, he may receive benefits on a parent’s record as long as the child was disabled before age 22. If the parent becomes disabled, retires or dies, the disabled child may receive dependent “child’s” benefits at any age without needing to meet any other requirements.

Other Ending Factors

A dependent child will stop receiving benefits if she gets married, regardless of her age. If she marries at age 17, for example, just because she’s still under 18 doesn’t mean she can still receive benefits. Note that a disabled child who gets married will stop receiving benefits on her parents’ record, unless she marries someone who is also disabled.

Family Limits

Your dependent child’s benefits may be reduced to keep your family from exceeding the maximum benefit allowed. Generally, a family can’t receive more than 180 percent of the worker’s benefit rate. If there are multiple children who qualify for benefits and threaten to push the amount your family receives over this limit, each family member’s benefit will be reduced proportionately. The worker’s benefit, however, won’t be affected.