Social Benefits for Minors – The Social Security Death Benefit

For anyone with children there comes a new fear. What you would do to provide for them if something happened to you? Naturally, that is why many people get life insurance; that’s why I did.

Others start planning their burial arrangements or they take other measure to ensure their final expenses are covered and they have something to give their children, too. Personally, I haven’t done the pre-funeral arrangements yet; just a bit too morbid for me since I’m still only in my 30’s.

Of course, there is one social benefit for minors that is often overlooked by concerned parents and one that I forget. It is the Social Security Death Benefit. This benefit is actually a type of fund that can set up to automatically garnish your wages for a certain amount. This money is then turned into credits that are deposited in a Social Security-operated fund. If something were to happen to you or your spouse, your dependents, including children, would be eligible to collect the funds so they can meet their basic living needs.

Social Security Survival Benefits

Known also as Survivors Benefits, this money is awarded both to surviving spouses and children (as well as parents in certain instances). You would have to earn a minimum amount of social security credits during the time you worked. The number of years you may need for your family to be eligible may depend on your age at the time of death. For younger people, the fewer years you will have needed to work. Of course, if you do not have more than ten years (the equivalent of forty credits) to ensure total benefits.

These death benefits can be collected in two forms. The first is a lump sum death benefit check. It is issued from The Social Security Administration. The other takes the form of monthly payments. This second option is more likely to be used to provide for minors who use both parents but need some additional supervision of the funds.

Advantages of Social Security Death Benefits

Let’s take a closer look at the advantages of the Social Security Death Benefit for children. First, the dependent children of a parent who died would be able to receive the aforementioned benefit. The child must meet certain criteria. They must be unmarried, under the age of 18 unless in college then it’s 19 or younger, they are a dependent grandchild under 18, or they are older than 18 but are otherwise disabled in some way.

As with other types of social benefits for minors, it must be properly administrated until that child is of legal age. This may take the form of some sort of guardianship or trust fund. Once the child is 18, the Social Security Death Benefit may no longer be used in most cases. This means that the Social Security Administration should be contacted to cease further payments. There legal ramifications for continuing payments and keeping the aid so be advised.

Call Your Local Social Security Office For Help

If you have more questions about social benefits for minors like the Social Security Death Benefit it is best to do further research to find the right option for your situation. Your best resource is to call your local Social Security office and they can give you the exact benefit that your children are entitled to.

A couple years ago I learned this is helping a recent evaluate the benefit that here children were entitled to. I tried using the knowledge that I gained from the CFP exam, but quickly learned that a simple phone call to SSA office gave my client the exact info they needed.

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