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  Wednesday August 27th, 2014    

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What every parent should know (06/24/2007)
by Cherryl Kjos

Winona Social Security District Manager

Most people think of Social Security as a part of their retirement plan, but Social Security is also a family protection plan with benefits for children, too. About 4 million children receive approximately $1.9 billion each month because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased. Those dollars help to provide the necessities of life for family members and help to make it possible for those children to complete high school.

So it's important that parents are aware of who can get benefits based on their Social Security earnings record -- and when.

The easiest way to check just what "family" benefits are available is to go to our "Parents' Place" page on the Internet at www.socialsecurity.gov/kids/parent1.htm. Also here you will find information on Baby's First Social Security Number, Who Can Get Benefits, How Much Work You Need for Benefits for Your Children, Benefits for Grandchildren, Benefits for Disabled Children " and more.

For example, if you visit the web page on How Much Work You Need for Benefits for Your Children, you will find that "The amount of work you need to qualify for Social Security benefits depends on how old you are when you retire, become disabled, or die. The younger you are, the less work you need." The web page goes on to explain that parents under the age of 24 need as little as one and one-half years of work under Social Security for their children to receive Social Security benefits. The amount of work needed increases with age, but no one would need more than 10 years of work to be insured for all benefits.

If you visit the web page on Benefits for Grandchildren, you would learn that "More and more parents are finding themselves raising grandchildren. Social Security will pay benefits to dependent grandchildren if benefits are not payable on the work record of a parent." The web page goes on to explain that generally, the biological parents of the child must be deceased or disabled, or the grandchild must be legally adopted by the grandparent to receive benefits.

If you do not have access to the Internet, you can find out basic information about Social Security that all parents should know by calling Social Security toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. 

 

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