General AdviceLegal

Social Security Survivor Benefits and College

My mother died when I was 13. I went to live with my father and stepmother and I received benefits. I went to college when I was 17 and lived on campus 2,000 miles away. Shouldn't I have received my benefits instead of my parents even though I was a minor? I never received anything nor was I told I could receive them while in college until 19.


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March 19, 20170 found this helpful

You can't receive them in college. They stop when you graduate from high school or with 3 months or on your 18th birthday whichever comes first. You graduated while 17, so that is when they would have stopped.

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March 19, 20170 found this helpful

Many people have incorrect ideas about Social Security benefits and particularly about receiving benefits from a deceased parent.
Benefits are paid for the care and support of a child until they either drop out of school, finish high school, reach the age of 18 unless they are still in high school and then it can be extended up to the age of 19. No funds are paid for a person in college at any age.


Apparently you finished high school at 17 and that is when your benefits would have been discontinued. If Social Security was not notified when you finished high school then your parents may have received funds for the time between when you finished high school and your 18th birthday.
Your benefits have ended.

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March 19, 20170 found this helpful

The check goes to your guardian while you are a minor. I'm not sure who gets the check if you reached majority at 19. If your father and stepmother spent this money on themselves, contact Social Security. They will have to have receipts to prove they spent the money on you. If they don't have the proof,
Social Security can get the money back. You are entitled to that money!

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March 20, 20170 found this helpful

There are differences of opinion in how long and at what age SS benefits are paid the same as in many government benefits.


It would be in your best interest and for your own and probably family's peace of mind for you to go to the closest Social Security office and get the real/correct facts about your benefits. This type of information will probably not be available over the telephone but you can make an appointment and that will save you some waiting time.

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