TN 45 (01-24)

RS 00203.065 Filing an Application for Child's Insurance Benefits, Form SSA-4-BK

A. How to file Form SSA-4-BK

1. Filing an SSA-4-BK

File an application for child's benefits on an SSA-4-BK or an electronic equivalent. For additional required forms if child is age 18 or over, see RS 00203.040.

2. Supplemental information for the SSA-4-BK

The SSA-4-BK or the electronic equivalent is designed to obtain information (e.g., as to dependency) at the time the application is filed if the worker is living, or at the time of their death, since such information generally will suffice. However, there will be situations in which additional information will be necessary.

As appropriate:

  1. a. 

    Obtain the necessary information, and

  2. b. 

    Unless indicated otherwise, either:

    • Incorporate it under "Remarks" on the application form or the RMKS screen in the Modernized Claim System (MCS); or

    • Incorporate it on a Statement of Claimant or Other Person, Form SSA-795, signed by the applicant; or

    • Record it on Report of Contact (RC) screen in MCS or on a Report of Contact form SSA-5002.

3. When a new SSA-4-BK is not required

A new application for child’s insurance benefits is not required for surviving child’s benefits if:

  1. a. 

    The child is already receiving auxiliary child’s benefits on the earnings record of a living number holder (NH) and the NH dies. SSA performs an automatic conversion from auxiliary child’s benefits to surviving child’s benefits when a death input is made for the NH.

  2. b. 

    The claimant filed a child’s application prior to the first month of the NHs entitlement to Retirement Insurance Benefit (RIB) or Disability Insurance Benefit (DIB) and the NH dies prior to that entitlement.

NOTE: Form SSA-11-BK (Request to be Selected as Payee), or the electronic equivalent is required if the NH was payee for the child and a new payee is necessary.

4. Posthumous child filing

Follow these guidelines for a child born after receiving a filed application on behalf of the widow(er), other children, or both:

If... Then obtain

Expected birth was not mentioned on application

  • An application for the child, and

  • Proof of the child's age and relationship.

Expected birth was mentioned on application

  • An additional statement concerning the child's name and date of birth (DOB), and

  • Proof of age and relationship.

NOTE: If the widow(er) eligible for survivor's benefits does not file until after the posthumous child is born, secure a Form SSA-5-BK (Application for Mother’s and Father’s Insurance Benefits).

B. Who should file for child

1. General information for parent

Ordinarily, the parent or other person or agency responsible for the child's care and welfare will file the application.

2. When child should file on own behalf

The child should file on their own behalf in these situations:

  1. a. 

    A minor child qualifies as payee;

  2. b. 

    A child applies for student benefits, or

  3. c. 

    An alleged disabled child, age 18 or over, is mentally competent.

C. Reference

GN 00502.000, Determining the Need for, Developing and Selecting a Representative Payee

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RS 00203.065 - Filing an Application for Child's Insurance Benefits, Form SSA-4-BK - 08/31/2011
Batch run: 01/03/2024