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Can New Jersey children obtain Social Security benefits?


New Jersey residents work hard to provide financial stability for their families. However, an unfortunate accident or injury resulting in disability or death can lead to financial difficulties for a worker and his or her children.

Thankfully, benefits available from the Social Security Administration can help stabilize the financial future of children if one or both parents are disabled, retired or deceased. More than 4 million children get financial support from the Social Security Administration, which pays billions of dollars each month to family members in order to provide the basic requirements of life and help children complete high school.

A biological child, adopted child or dependent stepchild may receive benefits under Social Security provisions. A child could also be eligible, in some cases, for benefits from his or her grandparents' earnings. In order to receive benefits, a child's parent needs to be in retirement or have a disability, and the parent must be eligible for Social Security benefits. In addition, a child may receive benefits if he or she has a deceased parent who worked long enough to pay enough Social Security taxes.

Other requirements are that the child must be unmarried and below 18 years old. Benefits end after the child reaches the age of 18, unless that child is still a high school student, and then benefits could be available for children ages 18-19. In addition, a child could collect benefits even if he or she is over age 18 if he or she has some form of permanent disability, as long as he or she has been disabled since before he or she was 22 years old.

At the time of applying for benefits for a child, the required documents are the birth certificate of the child and the Social Security numbers of parents and child. The Social Security Administration may ask for other documents, depending on the benefits involved. For example, some documents that may be necessary include medical evidence regarding the child's disability or proof of death of the parent if applying for survivors' benefits for the child.

Source: SSA.gov, "Benefits for Children," Accessed Feb. 6, 2015

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