What Benefits Does A Child Get If A Parent Dies?

Last Updated on June 6, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers

When a parent dies, a child may be eligible to receive social security benefits. These benefits can include financial assistance for daily living expenses and educational opportunities.

Losing a parent is a devastating experience for any child. Beyond dealing with grief and emotional trauma, children may also experience financial hardship. Fortunately, social security benefits are available to help ease the burden and provide a measure of support.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at the benefits available to children of deceased parents and how to apply for them. We’ll also examine some of the eligibility requirements and common questions parents may have about these benefits. By understanding the options available, parents can ensure their children are cared for even in the event of an unexpected tragedy.

What Benefits Does A Child Get If A Parent Dies?

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Losing a parent is a devastating and life-changing event, especially for young children. Although it’s impossible to measure the emotional impact of such a loss, there are, however, legal benefits that could help ease the financial burden. Here are the key legal benefits that a child could receive if a parent dies.

Intestate Succession Laws

When a person dies without leaving a will, their assets and properties are distributed according to the state’s laws, known as intestate succession laws. The laws provide a hierarchy of who’s entitled to inherit the assets, prioritizing the closest surviving relatives.

If a child’s parent dies without a will, the child is entitled to a portion of the assets, depending on the state’s laws.

Inheritance Rights And Assets

If a parent dies and there is a will, the child has specific inheritance rights according to the legal document’s instructions. The child is entitled to inherit assets and properties designated for them. The assets could include a house, a car, savings accounts, and investments, among others.

However, it’s important to note that any assets designated to the child will be under the control of a legal guardian until the child reaches the age of majority.

Insurance Benefits

If a parent has life insurance, the child could receive insurance benefits. The insurance payout can help cover the child’s education, medical bills, and other expenses. These funds could also help the child maintain their standard of living.

Social Security And Other Government Benefits

Children could receive social security survivor benefits if their parent dies and he/she has been contributing to the system. Surviving children under the age of 18 could receive monthly benefits until they reach 18 or 19 if still in high school.

Also, some states could offer additional benefits such as healthcare coverage, food stamps, and housing assistance programs.

While there is no replacement for the emotional support of a parent, there are legal benefits that could help ease the financial burden. Understanding the legal benefits available could help ensure the children’s future is secured.

Coping With Grief And Emotional Benefits

Losing a parent is an unfortunate experience that no child wants to go through. It is one of the most challenging situations a young person can face, and the emotional effects can be overwhelming. However, amidst the sadness and grief, there are also some positives that children can gain from this experience.

In this post, we will explore the benefits children can experience when coping with grief and the emotional aftermath of a parent’s passing.

Encouraging Resiliency

Dealing with the loss of a parent can give children a chance to develop resiliency. Resiliency allows children to bounce back from difficult situations. It helps them to develop coping strategies and build emotional strength. By dealing with a challenging event such as losing a parent, children can develop mechanisms and skills to handle future challenges they may face.

Some ways that children can build resiliency include:

  • Learning to express their emotions.
  • Seeking out support from family.
  • Seeking professional support or counseling.
  • Engaging in activities that are enjoyable or help them to relax.

Forming Stronger Bonds With Surviving Family Members

The loss of a parent can also bring the surviving family members closer together. Children may lean on their siblings or other relatives for emotional support. When going through a challenging experience together, they have the opportunity to form stronger bonds that can last them for a lifetime.

For some children, they may become more reliant on their surviving parent, forming a stronger parent-child bond that can last a lifetime.

Access To Counseling And Support Groups

Grieving is a complicated process, and it can be challenging to go through it alone. Children who have lost a parent can utilize resources such as counseling or support groups to help them deal with their emotions. These programs can help them connect with others who have experienced similar losses, providing a sense of community and understanding of what they are going through.

They can also help children learn strategies to deal with their emotions and provide them with a safe space to share their feelings.

While losing a parent is an awful experience that no child wants to experience, there are ways that children can benefit. Coping with grief can help children build resiliency and develop coping mechanisms that can last a lifetime. It can also help bring surviving family members closer together and provide access to counseling and support groups to assist with the grieving process.


Educational Benefits

It is an unfortunate fact that losing a parent can be an incredibly challenging experience for a child. However, despite this, there are a few benefits that a child may receive. One of these benefits includes access to unique educational opportunities.

Let’s explore some of these opportunities that a parent’s death may bring to their child.

Financial Aid And Scholarship Opportunities

A child who has lost a parent may be eligible for financial aid or scholarships that can assist with post-secondary education costs. These can be extremely beneficial in helping the child to pursue their academic goals, especially if they are facing financial hardship due to the loss of the parent.

Some organizations that offer these types of scholarships include the american legion legacy scholarship, the children of veterans tuition grant, and the folds of honor children’s fund scholarship.

Priority Access To Certain Schools And Programs

Children who have lost a parent may also be given priority access to specific schools or educational programs that are designed to support them. This can include schools that have a bereavement program, as well as schools that are specifically tailored to children who have suffered a significant loss.

For example, the comfort zone camp in virginia is one such program that provides therapeutic support to children who have lost a parent or sibling. Additionally, the christina clarke genco foundation offers scholarships to individuals who attend grief camps.

Educational Grants And Trusts

There are also several educational grants and trusts that may be available to children who have lost a parent. These grants and trusts are designed to provide financial support for the child’s academic pursuits and can offer a range of benefits, including covering tuition fees, providing textbooks, and supporting the cost of living expenses.

One organization that offers these types of grants is the children’s scholarship fund, which provides educational scholarships to children who have lost a parent to a terminal illness. Similarly, the spca of anne arundel county offers the children’s education and welfare fund to children who have lost a parent.

While the loss of a parent is not a pleasant event, it is essential to acknowledge that there may be educational benefits that can arise from such situations. These benefits can include increased financial support, access to unique educational opportunities, and grants and trusts that are tailored to support the educational journeys of children who have lost a parent.

Frequently Asked Questions On What Benefits Does A Child Get If A Parent Dies?

Can A Child Receive Social Security Benefits After A Parent Dies?

Yes, a child can receive social security benefits if a parent dies. The amount depends on the parent’s work history and the child’s age.

Are There Any Survivor Benefits For Children Whose Parent Dies?

Yes, there are survivor benefits available for children whose parent dies. These benefits can help with basic needs such as food, healthcare, and education.

What Type Of Survivors Benefits Are Available To Children?

Children of a parent who dies may be eligible for survivor benefits such as monthly payments, lump-sum payments, or both. These benefits can help with living expenses and future planning.

Can A Child Receive Survivor Benefits If The Parent Didn’T Work?

Yes, a child may still be able to receive survivor benefits if the parent didn’t work. It depends on the family’s circumstances and eligibility requirements.

What Steps Should A Family Take To Apply For Survivor Benefits?

Families should contact the social security administration as soon as possible to apply for survivor benefits. This process typically involves providing documentation and completing an application form.


Losing a parent is one of the most challenging and emotional experiences for any child. But amidst all the pain, there are still some benefits to gain. For instance, the child who loses a parent at a young age becomes more independent and self-reliant as they learn to take care of themselves without any guidance.

They also become better problem-solvers and communicators, which helps them in school, social situations, and later in life. Losing a parent may also bring families closer, as they learn to support each other through the grieving process. However, it is important to note that these benefits don’t come easily and require support from the family, friends, and professionals.

Ultimately, the child’s emotional well-being should be the top priority, and providing a safe environment where they can express their feelings and emotions is crucial in their healing process.

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