Retirement is a journey. Getting where you want to go requires a plan.
Social Security Benefits for Children
If you have minor children at home, Social Security benefits may be available to them. Know these rules and get maximum benefits for your family.It is not so unusual today for a person eligible for Social Security retirement benefits to have young children. Once the parent files for benefits, a minor child may also qualify for Social Security dependent benefits. The child can be a natural child, an adopted child, or a stepchild. Each child may receive 50% of the parent’s primary insurance amount (PIA) up to the family maximum. The benefit may continue until the child is 18, or 19 if still in high school.
Example: Don is age 66 and has a PIA of $2,400. He has one child, Diane, who is 10. Once Don files for his benefit, Diane may receive a dependent benefit of 50% of Don’s PIA, or $1,200. This benefit may continue until Diane turns 18.Note that it will be necessary for the parent to file for his own benefit in order for the child to receive benefits. Because it is often recommended that the higher-earning spouse delay benefits to age 70 to maximize both the retirement benefit and the survivor benefit for the surviving spouse, this creates a conflict:
- Do you file early and take a reduced benefit so you can start benefits for the child?
- Or do you file at the optimal time for your own lifetime benefit even if it means missing out on a few years of children’s benefits?