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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

When do benefits end for a child who is attending elementary or secondary school?

342. When do benefits end for a child who is attending elementary or secondary school?

If a child is attending elementary or secondary school full time when he or she turns 19 and has not completed the requirements for a secondary school diploma or equivalent certificate, the child's benefits continue through whichever of the following occurs first:

  1. The month he or she completes the course;

  2. The second month after the month the child reaches age 19 (if the school operates on a yearly basis, which is the usual case); or

  3. The last month of the quarter or semester that is in progress when he or she reaches age 19 (if the school operates on a quarterly or semester basis and requires students to reenroll for each new quarter or semester).

Last Revised: March, 2001

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18 yr old freshman in college--eligible for benefits?

May 5, 2010 by Guest

My brother is a part-time college student. He is currently 18. Our dad just passed away. Would he be eligible for survivor bebefits?

18-year-old college freshman and survivor benefits

May 5, 2010 by David Luhman

This does not look likely. At one time, the SSA did pay benefits to eligible college students, but the law changed in 1981. Social Security now pay benefits only to students taking courses at grade 12 or below.

You may wish to confirm directly with the SSA.

boyfriend is 18

October 11, 2011 by Guest

my boyfriend's mother passed away and he is 18. will he still get his check when he turns 19 even though he is still in school?

looking for the right answers

March 3, 2012 by Guest

I am a 19 year old soul survivour. I have been receiving benefits because I'm still attending high school, at a yearly school. I have had many different people tell me when my benefits would end. Aftrer reviewing what I have read on this website I'm not sure if my benefits will actually end when the website is telling me. I've been told that I will and should receive it until sixth months after I turn 19, if still in school. Which I am.

Benefits for high school students

March 3, 2012 by David Luhman

This web site is intended to provide general information. You will want to work directly with the Social Security Administration for your particular case.

19 in High School and benefits will end? Help

August 13, 2012 by Soggy

My daughter will be turning 19 the end of her 11th grade/junior year. I am told her benefits will end 3 months after turning 19, even though she is still in school another year for her 12th grade year.

She was FORCED to repeat 3rd grade due to the FCAT, Florida State test and she failed it and they made her repeat 3rd grade, so now she will be 19 during her senior year but her Survivorship Benefits stopped? It does not seem fair or right!! I had to take her out of public school system due to this and put her in private school so she could have special programs to help her with learning disabilities, yet she is no disabled.

What are my chances to appeal to keep her benefits until the end of her senior year where she will almost be turning 20? Are there any documented cases of others that appealed? Any help would be appreciated!

Survivor benefits and child turning 19 while in high school

August 13, 2012 by David Luhman

Please see the following post :

In general, survivor benefits they end after age 18, or at the end of the 12th grade, whichever occurs first.

If your child has a disability, there is a chance the survivor benefits can continue. My understanding is that "disability" generally means a physical disability. However, if your daughter has a fairly severe learning disability her survivor benefits could be extended.

Please contact your local Social Security office regarding this.

Child benefits added to dad's?

November 10, 2012 by Guest

When my child turns 18 will his benefits (his dad is disabled) be added to my husbands benefits?

"Graduating" child benefits added to parent's benefit?

November 11, 2012 by David Luhman

I have never seen evidence of this.

My understanding is the child's benefit is meant to help provide for the child while the child is a minor. Upon turning 18, the child is expected to provide for himself, and thus the benefit it no longer needed.

The following might be of interest for this :

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