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Why Don’t More Children Receive Social Security Disability Benefits?

Most people consider the Social Security program as something that supports the elderly. Statistics prove this to be correct. According to the Social Security Administration, from the 62 million people that receive Social Security benefits right now, more than 43 million are retired workers. Children are also entitled to receive Social Security Disability benefits under specific circumstances.

The main reason that many people are unaware of children’s Social Security benefits is that very few children are eligible to receive them. In general, there are three ways that children can receive these benefits:

  1. If their parents are receiving retirement benefits from the program
  2. If one or both of their parents become disabled
  3. If a parent passes away (survivor benefits)

In July 2018, about 1.87 million children of deceased employees received survivor benefits. About 1.51 million children of disabled workers received family disability benefits from the Social Security Administration this past July as well. Only about 673,000 children got Social Security payments from a parent’s retirement benefits. Together, about 4 million children get these benefits, which is roughly 6.5 percent of the total number of people on Social Security.

From these statistics, it’s clear that the provisions that regulate which children can receive Social Security benefits are pretty strict. In order to further qualify, a child must be unmarried and younger than 18 years old. Children in high school can receive benefits until they graduate as long as they are not older than 19, but an exception is applicable to disabled children who can receive benefits until 22.

If you have a family in Oklahoma in which your children might become qualified for Social Security, it’s crucial to take them into account during your planning. Contact one of our Tulsa Social Security Disability attorneys at Troutman & Troutman, P.C. today for a free evaluation of your case and more information.


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    Steve Troutman was able to get my short-term and long-term disability for me. Then Erin another lawyer for their firm got my Social security disability for me. Great people.

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    - Julia C.

    Erin and Keith were fabulous! They were compassionate, helpful, and very responsive! They made the process very smooth and painless every step of the way.

    - Valerie W.

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