Here’s something that you may not know. Billy Joel, also known as the Piano Man, has had numerous wives and two children. His latest wife was 33 and Billy Joel was 66 when they had a daughter. This made the daughter, named Della Rose, eligible for Social Security benefits.
From the Social Security website:
When you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify.
To receive benefits, the child must:
- be unmarried; and
- be under age 18; or
- be 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
- be 18 or older and disabled from a disability that started before age 22.
Normally, benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.
Benefits paid for your child will not decrease your retirement benefit. In fact, the value of the benefits they may receive, added to your own, may help you decide if taking your benefits sooner may be more advantageous.
Note that the child does not have to be your biological offspring. An adopted child, a stepchild or dependent grandchild is also eligible.
There are limits to what Social Security pays.
The total varies, but generally the total amount you and your family can receive is about 150 to 180 percent of your full retirement benefit.