Social Security Benefits Payable To Beneficiaries Under Age 18
A beneficiary under age 18 is generally considered incapable of managing benefit payments. A Representative Payee is normally selected to receive payments on the beneficiary's behalf although there are some exceptions. See Choosing A Representative Payee.
Payments may be made directly to a beneficiary under age 18 if:
- The beneficiary is age 15 or over; AND
- It serves the beneficiary's best interests; AND
- The beneficiary does not have a legal guardian; AND
- The beneficiary is:
- Receiving disability insurance benefits on his or her own Social Security earnings record; OR
- Serving in the military services; OR
- Self-supporting and living alone; OR
- A parent filing for himself or herself and has experience in handling his or her own finances; OR
- Capable of using the benefits to provide for his or her own current needs and no qualified payee is available; OR
- Within seven months of turning age 18 and is initially filing an application for benefits.
Note: If a minor beneficiary has the status of an adult under State law, he or she may be paid directly without having to fulfill the above requirements.
To Learn More
More InformationRepresentative Payees 101 - An Overview