Will My Daughter's Benefits Stop While In College?

Jul 27 2018 - 9:47am

Hi Larry!
My husband died 12 years ago leaving me to raise our two daughters. They are ages 16 and 17 now. My benefits have stopped when my youngest turned 16. My daughter will graduate high school in 3 years at age 19. My other will begin college next year. I just graduated for massage therapy. My question is, will my daughters benefits stop while in college and living with me and for my 16 yr old, will hers stop at 18 but a junior in high school? My career doesn’t make much money. I struggle to pay bills now. What do I do?


I'm sorry for your loss.

Your children couldn't qualify for surviving child's benefits while they're in college unless they are disabled or under age 18. Disabled adult child's benefits can continue regardless of a child's age, but child benefits otherwise end with the later of a) the month they reach age 18 or b) the month they graduate from high school unless they remain in high school past age 19. If a child is still in high school when they turn age 19 they can normally be paid until the end of that school year.

I wish I could give you some helpful advice, but my expertise is limited to Social Security benefits. The earliest that you could qualify for survivor benefits on your husband's record if your children are not disabled would be when you reach age 60, or at age 50 if you are disabled.

Best, Jerry