When someone is seriously injured and can no longer make ends meet, there is a lot to consider moving forward. One of those considerations is how to provide for children, if there are any. In situations where parents are disabled, children can receive Social Security disability benefits in order to get food, clothing, and shelter.

Billions of dollars are given to approximately 4.4 million children across the country every month. But how are these benefits distributed? What sort of process is involved? Are there certain requirements before a child can obtain these benefits?

A child may receive benefits if their parent is disabled or retired and eligible for Social Security benefits. In addition, if the parent had been employed and part of his or her paycheck was going towards Social Security, the child is eligible.

But there are some requirements as to what a “child” is when determining whether these benefits are obtainable. The child can be biological, adopted or a dependent stepchild; under certain circumstances, grandchildren may obtain benefits based on their grandparents. The child has to be under the age of 18 and cannot be married.

There are a number of exceptions when it comes to eligibility. These can center on the child’s educational status, disabilities, and which parent is actually taking care of the child.

Trying to determine eligibility can be a tricky situation. In addition, trying to figure out the amount that a child or family can get can become a complicated math equation. For many, wading through the Social Security disability benefits process and making sure to provide all the necessary information can become overwhelming. Speaking with someone who understands these types of benefits can help determine what the best step forward should be.

Source: Social Security online: “Benefits for Children,” SSA Publication.