TN 35 (09-23)

RS 00203.001 Entitlement and Non-Entitlement Provisions for Child’s Benefits


Social Security Act §§ 202(d) and 216(e)
20 CFR § 404.350

A. Policy for entitlement to child’s benefits

1. Requirements for entitlement to child’s benefits

Child’s benefits include benefits for minor children, students, and disabled adult children.

To be entitled to child's benefits,

  1. a. 

    a proper applicant for the child must file an application. For information on who is a proper applicant for a child, see GN 00204.003B.2 and RS 00203.065B;

    In addition, the child must be:

  2. b. 

    the child of a number holder (NH) entitled to Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB) or Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB), or a NH who died fully or currently insured. For information on determining who is a child of the NH, see GN 00306.000;

  3. c. 

    dependent upon that NH, see GN 00306.002C and GN 00306.007 through GN 00306.009;

  4. d. 

    unmarried, including never married and unmarried as defined in RS 00203.020; and

  5. e. 

    under age 18, or if age 18 or over, be:

    • under a disability that began before age 22, or

    • a full-time elementary or secondary school student under age 19. For more information on student benefits, see RS 00205.000.

NOTE: Under certain circumstances, we may deem a student not to have attained age 19. For more information, see RS 00205.001A.

IMPORTANT: For requirements for re-entitlement to child’s benefits, see RS 00203.015.

2. Retroactivity for child’s benefits

If a child does not meet the requirements outlined in RS 00203.001A at the time they apply for child’s benefits, we may be able to find the applicant entitled to child’s benefits by:

  • establishing entitlement for months in a retroactive period during which the child met all requirements in RS 00203.001A; and

  • terminating the child’s entitlement with the month before the month in which any of the terminating events in RS 00203.035 occurred.

For example, a child who is married at the time they file their application for benefits, may be entitled to benefits for months prior to the month of their marriage. If benefits are payable for a retroactive period, the marriage is a terminating event.

IMPORTANT: Consider protective filing (see GN 00204.010) and retroactivity for Title II benefits (see GN 00204.030) when determining a child’s eligibility for a retroactive period.

For policy on the first month of entitlement to child’s benefits, see RS 00203.005 for death cases and RS 00203.010 for life cases.

B. Policy for non-entitlement to child’s benefits

Even if a child meets the requirements in RS 00203.001A in this section, there is no entitlement if:

  • the Railroad Retirement Board (RRB) has jurisdiction over the survivor's claim according to instructions in RS 01601.130 through RS 01601.300; or

  • the child has a conviction of felonious and intentional homicide of the NH, or was found to have killed the NH by an act that, if committed by an adult, would be considered a felony. For information on homicide by a child, see GN 00304.060 through GN 00304.080.

C. Policy for child’s entitlement to Medicare

A child who has been entitled to Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) for 24 calendar months is entitled to premium-free Hospital Insurance (HI) or Part A beginning with the 25th consecutive month of CDB entitlement.

A child who is entitled to premium-free HI based on CDB entitlement is also eligible for Supplementary Medical Insurance (SMI) or Part B.

For more information on HI and SMI based on CDB entitlement, see HI 00801.146, HI 00801.152, and HI 00805.005.

NOTE: Prior to 12/1/80, the 24 months had to be consecutive (see HI 00801.146B).

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
RS 00203.001 - Entitlement and Non-Entitlement Provisions for Child’s Benefits - 09/05/2023
Batch run: 09/05/2023