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Payments to Student Beneficiaries

December 17, 2014

The Social Security Act provides benefits to children upon the insured wage earners’ retirement, death, or disability. Child beneficiaries are entitled to benefits until they marry or attain age 18. After age 18, child beneficiaries become eligible for student benefits if they attend an elementary or secondary school full time. Generally, student benefits continue through the earlier of age 19 and 2 months or the end of the school year.

Student beneficiaries must complete and sign the Form SSA-1372 to provide SSA information on their school attendance. Additionally, a school official must review and certify attendance information provided by the student. The student must then return the completed SSA-1372. Finally, SSA employees must review the completed SSA-1372 before paying student benefits.

We identified a population of 1,539,078 student beneficiaries who were full-time students for at least 1 month from January 2007 through December 2013.

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