To ensure that Social Security benefits continue beyond age 18, eligible students must submit the necessary form to school officials to certify they are still in school.

Ginny's Corner

Turning 18 and Getting Social Security?

Turn In Your Form!

(August, 2008)

If you are a high school student turning 18 and collecting monthly Social Security benefits because a parent is retired, disabled or deceased, you've got some homework to do if you want to make sure benefits continue.

To ensure that Social Security benefits continue beyond age 18, eligible students must submit the necessary form to school officials to certify they are still in school. Otherwise, monthly Social Security checks automatically stop when a student turns 18.

Some students receive Social Security survivors benefits because a parent is deceased. Others get dependent benefits because a parent receives Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Benefits for minor children generally continue until age 18 or 19 if they're still in high school, unless they are disabled and eligible for childhood disability benefits. In that case, a separate application for benefits is required.

For more information about Social Security student benefits, visit www.socialsecurity.gov/schoolofficials. The website outlines how the process works with instructions on what the student and school official must do to ensure benefits continue past the student's 18th birthday. With the appropriate certification, Social Security generally does not stop benefits until the month before the month the student turns 19, or the first month in which he or she is not a full-time student, whichever is earlier.

Social Security's website also includes:

  • A downloadable version of the required form SSA-1372—Student's Statement Regarding School Attendance—that must be completed by the student, certified by the school and returned to Social Security;
  • Answers to frequently asked questions for school officials and students; and
  • A field office locator to find the address of a local Social Security office.

If you do not have access to the Internet, call Social Security at 1.800.772.1213 (TTY 1.800.325.0778).

Ginny Jordan, Public Affairs Specialist, Social Security Administration

Ginny Jordan is a Public Affairs Specialist for the Social Security Administration. Her weekly column on all things Social Security appears in the Sunday Edition of the Sun-Sentinel.

Ginny has agreed to let us reprint her articles here for your convenience.

Thank you Ginny!

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