TN 44 (01-24)

RS 00203.035 Child's Benefits Termination of Entitlement

A. General information on termination

A child's entitlement ends with the month before the month in which any of the following occurs:

1. Death

The child dies.

2. Attainment of age 18

The child attains age 18 and is not disabled or a full-time student. A child born on the first day of the month attains age 18 in the previous month based on Agency policy concerning attainment of age.

NOTE: If the child is under a disability, see RS 00203.035B.1. If the child is a full-time student, see RS 00203.035B.2.

3. Marriage

The child marries, with these exceptions:

  1. a. 

    Entitlement does not end if the child is a child disability beneficiary ( CDB ) and the marriage is to a Social Security beneficiary other than:

    • a child beneficiary under age 18, or

    • a child beneficiary age 18 or 19 entitled because they are a full-time student.

    An individual receiving Supplemental Security Income benefits only is not included in the definition of a “Social Security beneficiary.”

  2. b. 

    Although a putative marriage in Louisiana terminates a child's entitlement, a putative marriage in any other state that recognizes such marriages does not. Under the laws of some states, a party to a void marriage may acquire inheritance rights as a spouse. This relationship is a putative marriage. The essential basis of a putative marriage is a good faith belief in the existence of a valid marriage at its inception and a continuous good faith belief (in a life case) or good faith until the worker dies (in a death case). (For information on putative marriages, see GN 00305.085.)

    NOTE: For instructions about same-sex marriage, see GN 00210.000.

NOTE: Benefits to a CDB no longer terminate because the benefits of their spouse who is a CDB or disability beneficiary terminate. A CDB whose benefits terminate in or after July 1969 because their spouse's CDB benefits terminated for a reason other than death may have their benefits reinstated.

4. NH no longer entitled to disability insurance benefits

Entitlement ends the first month the NH is no longer entitled to a disability insurance benefit, unless the entitlement ended because of their death or entitlement to retirement insurance benefits.

If the NH is at full retirement age (FRA) when a subsequent disability determination shows that their disability ceased prior to the Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) to Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB) conversion, see "NOTE" in GN 00201.005B.3.f.

B. Special rules

In addition to the situations listed in child’s benefits termination of entitlement, RS 00203.035A, the following terminating events apply:

1. Child disability beneficiary (CDB)

The entitlement of a CDB ends with the second month following the month they cease to be under a disability, unless in such month they are under age 19 and a full-time student.

NOTE: The trial work provision discussed in DI 13010.035 applies to a CDB.

2. Student

The entitlement of a full-time student age 18-19 ends whenever the following occurs first, unless at such time they are entitled to benefits as a CDB:

  1. a. 

    The month before the month they attain age 19, or deemed to have attained age 19.

  2. b. 

    The first month during, no part of which, they are a full-time student. (For information on when student benefits terminate, see RS 00205.325B.)

For more information on the point at which a particular age is attained, see GN 00302.400.

3. Legally adopted child

Entitlement to a child's benefit based on a legal adoption terminates if the adoption is annulled. The effective date of the termination to benefits is the month the annulment becomes effective.

4. Step-child

a. Divorce between parent and NH

If the marriage (including invalid ceremonial marriage) between the NH and the stepchild's parent ends in a divorce that becomes final in or after July 1996, the stepchild's benefits terminate. The stepchild's entitlement will terminate the month after the month in which the divorce becomes final, i.e., the month of the divorce is the last month for which benefits are payable to the stepchild on the NH's record. This provision is contained in section 104 of P.L. 104-121. For post-entitlement processing instructions, see GN 02602.400.

EXAMPLE: The NH’s stepchild is entitled to child’s benefits on the NH’s record. The NH’s marriage to the stepchild’s parent ends due to divorce on November 08, 2015. The stepchild’s benefits will terminate December 2015, the month after the month the divorce was final. November 2015 is the last month for which the stepchild receives a benefit (payable in December 2015).

CAUTION: If the NH has legally adopted the child, entitlement may be possible as an adopted child.

If the marriage between the NH and the stepchild's parent ends in a divorce becoming final before July 1996, the divorce will not terminate the stepchild's entitlement. If the divorce is after June 30, 1996, the divorce does terminate the stepchild’s entitlement. If the NH and the stepchild’s parent remarry, they must meet a new one-year duration of relationship and one-half support-met requirement before re-entitlement.

b. Annulment of marriage between parent and NH

When an annulment of the marriage between the NH and the stepchild's parent occurs, the following policy applies:

If the marriage was...

And the annulment operates...



ab initio

  • No step relationship ever existed.

  • Consider any benefits paid incorrect (unless child qualifies as stepchild of invalid ceremonial marriage).


prospectively only

Benefits will terminate as of the month of the annulment, for annulments in or after September 1996. For annulments prior to September 1996, continue benefits.

C. Policy if adoption is a non-termination event

The adoption of a child already entitled to benefits does not terminate the child's benefits. Prior to November 1972, adoption did terminate benefits with certain exceptions. If a child’s entitlement was terminated due to an adoption they may be re-entitled to child's benefits beginning November 1972 based on an application filed after October 30, 1972, provided the child meets all other requirements for re-entitlement.


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RS 00203.035 - Child's Benefits Termination of Entitlement - 01/03/2024
Batch run: 01/03/2024