Social Security Benefits for Minor Children
Children are entitled to Social Security benefits based on the earnings of their parent in a variety of situations. If a parent dies, minor children are generally entitled to receive a monthly payment until they reach the age of 18. The amount of the payment is determined by the earnings record of the deceased parent. Children of parents who become disabled are entitled to benefits, which may either be Social Security or SSI benefits if the parents are low-income. In some instances the parent may die without having established paternity and the obligation to pay support. Even under these circumstances, Social Security benefits may be obtained. If the deceased parent lived with, provided support for, or was under an order to support the child, benefits may be established. With the cooperation of the deceased parents' family, modern paternity testing can even establish paternity by testing a 1st degree relative (such as sibling or parent) and the child. It is worthwhile to note that signing the birth certificate is not sufficient to establish paternity.