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When can Missouri children obtain social security benefits?

Residents of Saint Louis, Missouri, work hard for their family's financial stability. However, an unfortunate accident or injury resulting in disability or death can lead to financial difficulties for them and their children.

Thankfully, there are provisions under Social Security benefits that help stabilize the financial future of a family and their children if one or both parents are disabled, about to retire or pass away. About 4.4 million children get financial support from the Social Security Administration, which pays approximately $2.5 billion each month to family members in order to provide the basic requirements of life and to help children until they complete high school.

A biological child, adopted child or dependent stepchild may be able to get benefits under the Social Security provisions due to a parent's death, retirement or disability. A child also could be eligible for benefits, in some cases, based on that child's grandparents' earnings. In order to get benefits, a child must have a disabled or a retired parent, a parent who is eligible for Social Security benefits or a deceased parent who had worked for an adequate time to pay taxes into the Social Security system.

Other requirements for benefits eligibility include that the child must be unmarried and below 18 years of age. The benefits cease after the child reaches the age of 18, unless that child is a high school student or has some form of permanent disability. A disabled child, however, may continue receiving benefits until the age of 22, if the disability began before that age.

At the time of applying for benefits for a child, one must provide the child's birth certificate and Social Security numbers for the parents and child. The Social Security Administration may ask for other documents depending on the type benefits involved, such as medical evidence when applying for benefits for a disabled child or proof of the death of the parent when applying for survivors' benefits for the child.

Source: Social Security Administration, "Benefits for Children," accessed Dec. 26, 2014

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Alan E. DeWoskin, P.C.
225 South Meramec Avenue, Suite 426
St. Louis, MO 63105

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