Q: “I am a full time working mother with two school aged children. Someone recently mentioned to me that Social Security offers certain benefits in case I were to die or become disabled. I thought it was only for retirees?”

A: Your question confirms that the value of Social Security to today’s workers is under appreciated.  Benefits are not only for retirees.   In the event of your death or disability, your children would be entitled to Social Security Dependent Child benefits up to age 18, up to age 19 if still in high school.  In addition, your children could qualify for benefits on your record for the rest of their lives if they were to become disabled before reaching age 22.

Social Security has provided benefits for dependent children of deceased wage earners since the first Social Security benefits became payable in 1940.  Dependent children of disabled wage earners have been protected against the loss of a parent’s earnings since 1956.  In 2018, over four million children received benefits.