Teen Eligibility for Social Security Survivor Benefits?

Children are typically eligible for Social Security survivor benefits while they are in school. A call to the Social Security office is one way to confirm if you meet the requirements. This is a page about teen eligibility for Social Security survivor benefits.


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I'm 17 and my mother has been collecting my benefits from my dad and doesn't buy me anything. She pays my phone bill and that's all. My question is if I would order stuff I need on-line for myself and my kids will I get in trouble?


May 3, 20170 found this helpful
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The money you get is for your needs. Needs include rent, clothing and food. Who is paying for this? Your mother may be using the money for that. If she is truly not meeting your needs, you could notify Social Security. She could be called in and be required to submit receipts for items she purchased on your behalf. I would not order online yet until this is settled.

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May 4, 20170 found this helpful
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You say you are 17? Are you still in high school? Are you married? Who supports your kids? Who do you live with and who pays the bills (rent, electric, heat, water, garbage, etc.)? Who supplies food for you and your kids? Do you have a car? If so, who pays for that expense? There are many everyday expenses (clothes, shoes, cosmetics, toothpaste, toilet paper, etc) that most people tend to forget - and all cost money.


These are some of the kind of questions you may have to answer if you make a claim that your mother is not giving you any money.
You, your kids and your mother may receive some of these things as other benefits from the government (rent subsidy, food stamps, Medicaid - free doctor, dental & medicine, free phone?, etc) and some of these may continue after your "benefits" stop.
We are assuming you mean Social Security benefits from a deceased parent (but that may not be the case - support?). If you are talking about Social Security benefits then you or your mother will only receive benefits until you reach 18 (sometimes before), graduate, or up to 19 years old if you are still in high school full time.
Ordering things on line usually requires a credit card and someone will be responsible for repaying the money spent. Do you have a credit card?

Please, talk things over with your mother and maybe together you can resolve some of your problems without, perhaps, causing more problems.

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May 4, 20170 found this helpful
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I can sympathize with how you feel but have you talked to your grandmother about this problem? How does your grandmother feel about all of this? Are you saying that your grandmother fully supports you and your children? Again, I have to ask a question - where does the children's father come into paying support for you and his children? I'm only asking because if this is Social Security benefits then all money will stop when you reach 18 years old (unless you are still in high school full time) and who will support you after this?


Does your grandmother have sufficient income to take care of you or should you be looking for a job or asking for support from your children's father?
I believe you have a lot of problems facing you that are much more serious than wondering about trying to buy something on line.
Try to discuss this with your grandmother and maybe the two of you can plan what may help you in the future when there are no SS benefits available (for you, your children or your mother).

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October 15, 2019

My pawpaw raised me and adopted me in 2016; he passed away 2016. The survivor's benefit Social Security check goes to my stepmom. I'm 17 now and in high school, the 11 grade. I make good grades and I work full time because my stepmom does not get me clothes, snacks, car, car insurance, and gas. The only thing she does is pay rent on the house, lights, and food, but I have got to get cakes or candy with my working check. I'm having trouble keeping up with school and a full time job to make ends meet. She has nothing saved for me.


I read I can get it put in my name now, but what kind of proof do I need to show you? Because she is smart and I want to make sure I have exactly what I need or if I don't they will be mean to me at home with me reporting this so I want everything I need. What proof do you need?

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I'm 17. I was legally told I could leave my residence. I was saying at my parents' house.I'm now on my own. I'm not going to be 18 till March, but my benefits are in my name and going to my bank card that's also just in my name. Would I receive them since I changed my address to the one that I'm currently living at?

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January 17, 2019

So my cousin has been getting Social Security survivor benefits ever since his father passed away. He now lives in a really rough situation that he is trying to remove himself from.


He is in the process of emancipating himself. If the judge rules in his favor will he lose those benefits? He is 16 y/o and is still a full time high school student.


January 17, 20190 found this helpful

He should be able to receive benefits up to the age of 19 as long as he is still in high school full time

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January 17, 20190 found this helpful

Your cousin is going to need a strong support system and have questions answered by people from the sources, not crowd sourcing.

The Social Security Administration number is at the bottom of this link. He or his lawyer needs to call them:


If he needs legal aide, talk to your state senator and have him or her give you a list of legitimate legal aide services ASAP. Never find legal aide from the internet as most are scams.

Does the school your cousin go to have a guidance counselor he can have on his side?

Sending up prayers for him to get his situation resolved and with the best support system. Post back how things are going.

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May 24, 2019

My grandson received benefits after his mother's passing. He is now 18 and graduated from high school at the end of May. Will he get final check in June?

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December 3, 2018

My daughter is 16 1/2 and her mom just passed away a week ago. She is staying at house with her mom's fiancé. I am the father he is not, she wants to stay there rather than move in with me. Is she able to get Social Security benefits that her mom was getting? or survivor benefits? Can she also get Medicaid through Social Security? She wants to be emancipated as well.


December 3, 20181 found this helpful

These are questions for social security. If her mother worked long enough and made enough she would be eligible for survivor benefits.

I would consult a lawyer about her emancipation and where she should be living. If you cant afford a lawyer contact the Legal Aid Society.

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December 4, 20181 found this helpful

You have my sympathy on the loss of your daughter's mom. Very sad.

This can be very complicated so I suggest starting with the social security administration:


I would also try to develop a good relationship with the mom's fiance so you both have your daughters interests protected and that if she is due any money, that it is used wisely and is protected.

You may also want to have a good lawyer on your side.

Your state senator can help you work though some of the government red tape. Their services should be free. I found mine by Googling my town, and the phrase state senator.

Prayers for all!!

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December 5, 20180 found this helpful

This is a sad situation but may I ask if you have ever had very much interaction with your daughter since your divorce? If not, could this be one of the reasons she prefers to stay with her mother's boyfriend?
This may not be a situation that will find favor with attorneys or a judge (but then, I do not know about the living conditions of either party).

  • Is it possible she thinks that if she is emancipated she will have more freedom to do whatever, whenever she wants? Sadly, this is what so many young people think.
  • Does she really know the ends and outs of being emancipated?
  • Here is a list of some things she should consider and the things the court will look at:
  • Able to support yourself financially
  • Living apart from your parents or have made other living arrangements
  • Able to make decisions for yourself
  • Attending school or have a diploma and
  • Mature enough to function as an adult.
  • whether the minor can be financially self-sufficient (usually through employment, as opposed to government aid or welfare)
  • whether the minor is currently living apart from parents or guardians or has made alternative living arrangements
  • whether the minor is sufficiently mature to make decisions and to function as an adult, and
  • whether the minor is going to school or has received a high school diploma.
  • www.nolo.com/.../emancipation-of-minors-32237.html
  • ctlawhelp.org/.../a-teenagers-guide-to-emancipation
  • Serious move.
  • You do not mention support but if you are required to pay support then you should seek legal advice as this could change.
  • Who has legal guardian rights? No one probably.. That may be something the court will look at also.
  • You ask if she can get Social Security benefits that her mother had.. No she cannot but she may qualify for survivor's benefits but that would be based on what type of SS benefits her mother was receiving.
  • If her mother was on SSI then no, there would not be any benefits for her.
  • SSDI benefits - yes she might qualify.
  • Retirement based on wages her mother earned - yes, she could be qualified.
  • Check this link information:
  • www.ssa.gov/.../EN-05-10085.pdf
  • You need to go to the SS office and ask these questions as no one on this site can tell you about this type of benefit. You will need your daughter's SS number or your wife's SS number, your SS number, your wife's death certificate to be able to get answers to your questions.
  • All of these questions are very serious so you should try to get help from an attorney. Call your local family services office or Financial Aid office but I would suggest you go to the SS office first.
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September 9, 2018

I have an 18 year old nephew in-law whose father passed away 3 yrs ago. His biological step brother and sister-in-law went to court and my sister received guardianship. My brother-in-law was very sick and could not retain guardianship. He has passed on. The nephew is now 18, but still has a year of high school left. Funds where cut off in June. Social Security says they can start back when proof is shown he is enrolled in school for 13 weeks. The check comes in his name and it's deposited in his account. Then certain bills for his personal care are taken from his check. Then the remaining funds are left for him. He is now trying to move out of the house because he is 18 years old and thinks the check should go to him. Would this be legal in the state of Texas? The check is for the guardian to take care of him. Correct?


September 10, 20180 found this helpful

He can get the checks if he is in high school up to 19. Usually his guardian gets the check. Social Security makes the decisions who gets the check

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September 15, 20180 found this helpful

Questions about Social Security benefits are difficult to answer because every case is different and of course, we do not know all of the facts about the situation.

  • Social Security benefits are federal government and are generally the same everywhere.
  • The money should stay in the hands of the guardian for his overall care and expenses. If the funds are being handled as you state then it would seem everything is being done according to SS rules.
  • Does the nephew feel that he is not receiving as much "spending" money as he should?
  • Is he having problems at home that he wishes to move away or does this just appear that he thinks he can live the way he wants if he is getting the full check?
  • Just asking questions that may be asked should he go to SSA to request the check be sent to him alone and no oversee by his guardian.
  • To receive full control of the check he will probably have to prove that he can support himself if he moves away from home. Is this check an amount that he would be able to do that? Does he plan to move in with another relative or a friend so he would not have to pay a full rent payment?
  • Can he show that he will be able to go to school full time until he graduates? Does he realize the check will stop if he does not attend school full time?
  • Does he know that he will not receive any benefits after he graduates but his living expenses will not stop and he will have to have a way to pay these expenses?
  • I know that someone has probably already tried to explain these things to him but sometimes children will not listen to their relatives (or anyone sometimes).
  • I would suggest the guardian go to the school and talk with his counselor about this situation and ask them for help in explaining all of this to him.
  • They can also go to the SS office and have it put on record what he is wanting to do so it will already be in the system should he talk with them.

All matters dealing with Social Security benefits should be discussed with a representative at your local office so everyone knows they have the right answer for their particular case.

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September 17, 20180 found this helpful

Social Security is very complex. I would contact the Social Security administration directly to get any questions answered, as they are the experts. Their contact info is at this link:


They are the experts and can give you the true information for your situation. If you have trouble understanding what they are telling you or need further assistance, I recommend asking your state senator help. I found mine by googling my town and the words state senator. His staff was very helpful and has helped us resolve several situations. The services are free (well...paid for by tax money).

Any time there is money and the government invoked, I go right to the experts!!

Good luck and blessings to your family!

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August 13, 2018

I'm about to turn 18 and I'm still in high school as a full time student. Social Security is going to start sending my money to me instead of to my mom. Is she able to have my money stopped completely if she wanted to even though it's not going to her anymore?


August 14, 20180 found this helpful

I am assuming these are survivor benefits. You are entitled to them as long as you are in high school, up to age 19. Your mother, if she saw you were not spending the money on your needs, could go to social security and request that it be sent to her. Social Security has the right for an accounting on how the money was spent.

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August 14, 20180 found this helpful

It is important for you to understand how your benefit works and talk to the experts at the Social Security Administration to get the answers you need.

Once you have the answers, you and your mom and come to an agreement on the best way to manage your money. By taking the lead and making the call (or going to their website) you will be showing your mom you are responsible, which she (hopefully) will appreciate and will make for adult discussion.

The contact info and a PDF about benefits are below:



Wishing you all the best!!

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August 14, 20180 found this helpful

Since we do not know the reason the benefit was changed to you instead of to your parent/guardian we cannot answer your question. You should be asking your questions at your local SSA in the same manner you requested the benefit be changed to your name.

  • If you are still living with your mother then there is a strong possibility she could have the benefit check changed from your name if she believes that you are not using the money for what it was intended.
  • The money is intended for your care and that means things like food, housing (a place to live), clothing, school supplies/lunch money, anything that you need should be paid for out of that money. It is not supposed to be used for frivolous things and so you and your mother (or whoever you are living with) should be talking about how for you to pay your share of the living expenses.
  • If your mother files a case with SS you could be forced to account for the money you receive (prove whatever you spent the money on).
  • Do not let something like this cause big problems in your family. Talk this over with your guardian and do the responsible thing - use the money for its intended use. You can save some of this money if your living expenses are less than your benefit check.
  • You should be able to receive benefits until you graduate (full time student) or reach 19 years old - whichever event occurs first.
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July 22, 2018

My niece is 17, going on 18, in 2019. She will be a senior so I believe she qualifies for survivors' benefits until the end of high school. My brother died on 7/17, she lived with her mother who was not a next of kin for my brother or spouse/relationship. She has 6 kids of her own. My niece now lives with me and the first check she saw is for July. Her mother never gave her or set aside any money for the last year. How much control does she have over the money, and does she get survivors benefit just for being the parent? I am trying to figure out where all this money went.


July 22, 20180 found this helpful

The girls mother got that check to cover expenses for her. If you believe there has been wrongdoing, contact Social Security. The mother will have to show proof that the money went for the girls expenses

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July 23, 20180 found this helpful

Sorry to hear you are having so many challenges. Will send up lots of prayers for you and your family!

Talk to the Social Security Administration and ask for help. Their contact info is here:


If they are not helpful or you need more help cutting through the red tape or figuring out what they are telling you, talk to your state senator. Go in person! If yours is like mine, they are amazing!

I found ours by putting in Google search my town name and the phrase state senator. His name came right up. Their services are free paid for by our tax dollars, so may this can help you!!

If you need low cost Legal Aid, since this situation sounds quite complicated, the State Senator can help with that also. Never pick a legal aid company from a Google search as many are not what they seem.

Good luck!

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July 25, 20180 found this helpful

Your question is a little confusing but basically you just want to know where all the money from 7/17 until 7/18 went?

  • Does that mean that your niece is now getting the benefit check in her name? Or is the check still going to the mother and she is giving it to your niece?
  • If your niece (how long has she lived with you?) is living with you and going to school, you and she can apply to the SSA to have the check sent to you since you will be paying for her living expenses (that is what the benefit check is for) until she graduates.
  • The check is not intended for your niece to spend or use as she sees fit but was given to the mother to cover the cost of her care.
  • The SSA can explain to you what this benefit check is to be used for and then you can decide if you wish to take your case any further.
  • How does your niece feel about all of this? Is she under the mistaken idea that the check was supposed to be given to her? This is many times the case and since this is not true it would probably be best if you and your niece went to the SSA in person so you will both be able to decide if you think something/money was mishandled.
  • As a general rule, a minor is only awarded a benefit check if they are living outside of the guardian home and providing living expenses for themselves.
  • You are correct in that benefits will stop when your niece graduates.
  • No one can give the information you are seeking other than the SSA.
  • You will not be able to obtain this information (from SSA) unless you have been awarded legal guardianship of your niece so she will have to be the one doing the inquiry with her SS number.
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December 28, 2018

When I fill out all the information to continue getting a survivor's check in high school, does the person from my high school that signs off that I go to school for 8 hours have to check my grades as well? Or are they just checking that I have the right amount of hours while attending school?

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