Question: Will my children receive money from Social Security when I die?
Answer :

Maybe. It depends on how old your children are, and how long you've worked in a job where you've paid Social Security taxes.

To be eligible for Social Security benefits when you die, your children must be age 18 or under (19 if still in high school), and unmarried. In addition, you must have earned at least six Social Security credits, also known as quarters of coverage. You earn credits by working in a job where you pay Social Security taxes on your earnings. Because you can earn only four credits per year, you must have worked at least a year and a half to earn the required number of credits.

To find out if your survivors will be eligible for benefits based on your earnings record when you die, you can order a Social Security Statement from the Social Security Administration (SSA). You can do this by calling (800) 772-1213 or by visiting the SSA website at The statement will also tell you how much your survivors could expect to receive, based on your current earnings record. Another option is to use one of the SSA's benefit calculators, available online, to estimate benefits available to your survivors.