What Happens To My Benefits When My Child Turns 18?

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November 7, 2023 by Marjorie R. Rogers, MA (English), Certified Consultant

When your child turns 18, their eligibility for certain benefits may change.

Changes In Financial Assistance

When your child turns 18, there can be significant changes in the financial assistance they receive. This transition can have an impact on various government benefits that your child was previously eligible for. Understanding these changes can help you navigate the new landscape and ensure that your child continues to receive the support they need.

Eligibility For Government Benefits

Upon reaching the age of 18, your child’s eligibility for certain government benefits may change. It’s important to be aware of these changes and the potential impact on your child’s financial assistance. Here are some key benefits to consider:

Social Security Disability Insurance (ssdi)

If your child was receiving Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits before turning 18, their eligibility may continue. However, there could be certain conditions that need to be met to maintain these benefits. It’s advisable to consult with the Social Security Administration to ensure a smooth transition.

Supplemental Security Income (ssi)

Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits are typically available to individuals with limited income and resources. When your child turns 18, they may need to apply for SSI as an adult to continue receiving this financial assistance. Meeting the income and resource requirements is crucial for eligibility.

Temporary Assistance For Needy Families (tanf)

Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) provides financial assistance to low-income families. If your child was receiving TANF benefits, their eligibility and the amount of assistance may change when they turn 18. Understanding the specific requirements and regulations in your state is vital to ensuring continued support.


Medicaid is a government program that offers healthcare coverage to individuals with limited income. Your child’s eligibility for Medicaid may continue after they turn 18, but their income and other factors will be considered in determining their eligibility. It’s essential to contact your local Medicaid office to discuss the ongoing availability of this assistance.

Food Stamps

Food stamps, also known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), provide assistance to low-income individuals and families to purchase food. After your child turns 18, their eligibility for this program may change based on their income and other factors. Contacting your local SNAP office can provide guidance on the continued availability of food stamp assistance.

Impact On Child Support Payments

When your child reaches the age of 18, it can also have implications for child support payments. While the specifics can vary based on your jurisdiction, here are a few key aspects to consider:

Maintenance Of Child Support Obligations

In many cases, child support obligations continue even after your child turns 18. However, the terms of the child support order may need to be reviewed to ensure compliance with the law. It’s crucial to communicate with your local child support agency to understand your ongoing responsibilities as a parent.

Modifications In Child Support Agreements

The transition to adulthood may warrant modifications in child support agreements. This could include adjustments to the amount of support payments based on factors such as your child’s changing needs or educational pursuits. Consulting with an attorney or mediator can help navigate the process of modifying child support agreements.

Understanding the changes in financial assistance when your child turns 18 is essential for ensuring their continued well-being. By staying informed and proactive, you can navigate the complexities of these transitions and ensure that your child receives the necessary support they need.

What Happens To My Benefits When My Child Turns 18?

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Educational Support And Scholarships

When your child turns 18, there are several changes that can impact their educational support and scholarships. It’s important to understand these changes and be aware of the resources available to ensure a smooth transition into higher education. In this article, we will discuss how your child’s benefits may be affected and explore the various educational support options available.

Impact On Educational Benefits And Scholarships

Turning 18 can have an impact on the educational benefits and scholarships your child is eligible for. Some benefits, such as Social Security Disability (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), may continue into adulthood if your child meets the required criteria. However, it’s crucial to review the specific eligibility requirements to determine if any changes need to be made to your child’s benefits.

College Financial Aid

College financial aid is an essential consideration when it comes to funding your child’s education. Once your child turns 18, they may be eligible to apply for federal financial aid programs such as grants, work-study opportunities, and low-interest loans. Completing the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) is a crucial step in determining your child’s eligibility for these programs.

Grants And Scholarships

Grants and scholarships can significantly help in reducing the financial burden of higher education. Your child may qualify for various grants and scholarships based on their academic achievements, extracurricular activities, or specific interests. Exploring available grants and scholarships can provide valuable funding options for your child’s educational journey.

Higher Education Tuition Waivers

Some states offer higher education tuition waivers for students with disabilities. These waivers exempt eligible students from paying a portion or all of their tuition fees. Researching the specific requirements and application process for tuition waivers in your state can provide valuable information on how to take advantage of this financial assistance.

Available Resources For Post-secondary Education

There are numerous resources available to support your child’s post-secondary education. Organizations such as the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR) provide guidance, counseling, and financial assistance to individuals with disabilities pursuing higher education. It’s crucial to explore these resources early on and understand the application processes and deadlines to ensure your child can access the support they need.

Vocational Rehabilitation Services

Vocational rehabilitation services are designed to assist individuals with disabilities in accessing and maintaining employment. These services often include career counseling, job training, and assistance with job placement. By utilizing vocational rehabilitation services, your child can gain valuable skills and support to enhance their future career prospects.

Transition Services Provided By Schools

Schools often offer transition services to assist students as they move from high school to post-secondary education or employment. These services can include vocational assessments, job shadows, and internships, which help students explore their interests and develop the necessary skills for the workforce. It’s essential to collaborate with your child’s school to ensure they receive the appropriate transition services tailored to their individual needs.

Medical Coverage And Healthcare Options

When your child turns 18, there are changes to their medical coverage and healthcare options. Understanding what happens to your benefits is crucial for planning their healthcare needs.

Continuation Of Health Insurance Coverage

As your child turns 18, you may be wondering what happens to their benefits, particularly when it comes to medical coverage and healthcare options. Let’s explore the different options available to you and your young adult.

Remaining On Parents’ Health Insurance Plans

One option for your child is to remain on your health insurance plan. Thanks to the Affordable Care Act, young adults can usually stay on their parents’ plan until they turn 26, regardless of factors like their marital status, whether they are in school or not, or whether they are financially dependent on their parents.

Exploring Alternative Health Insurance Options

If your child is no longer eligible to stay on your health insurance plan or if you do not have coverage, it is essential to explore alternative health insurance options. They can consider purchasing their own health insurance plan through the Health Insurance Marketplace or exploring other private health insurance plans available to them.

Adult-specific Healthcare Resources

Turning 18 means having access to adult-specific healthcare resources. Your child can now seek out specialized medical professionals, like gynecologists, urologists, or dermatologists, who can address their specific health concerns as adults. It’s important to encourage your child to do their research and find the right healthcare providers that suit their needs.

Medicaid Coverage For Young Adults

If your child or your family qualifies for Medicaid, they may also be eligible for continued coverage after turning 18. Each state has different eligibility criteria, so it’s crucial to check the specific requirements and application process in your state. Medicaid can provide valuable healthcare coverage and services for young adults who meet the eligibility criteria.

Accessing Mental Health Services

Mental health is just as important as physical health, and your child’s transition to adulthood may come with unique challenges. There are several mental health resources available, including therapy, counseling, and support groups. Encourage your child to seek out these services if needed and ensure they have the necessary insurance coverage or explore alternative options for mental health support.

Transitioning To Adult Healthcare Providers

As your child becomes an adult, it’s important to transition to adult healthcare providers. This may involve finding a primary care physician, dentist, or specialist who specializes in adult healthcare. Researching and choosing the right healthcare providers ensures that your child receives the appropriate care and services they need as they enter adulthood.

Frequently Asked Questions For What Happens To My Benefits When My Child Turns 18?

What Happens To My Child’s Benefits When They Turn 18?

When your child turns 18, their eligibility for certain benefits may change. It’s important to understand how this transition may impact their benefits.

Can My Child Still Receive Social Security Benefits After Turning 18?

Yes, in some cases your child may still be eligible to receive social security benefits after turning 18. The eligibility criteria may vary, so it’s best to consult with the relevant authorities.

What Types Of Benefits Can My Child Receive After Turning 18?

After turning 18, your child may be eligible for benefits such as SSDI (Social Security Disability Insurance) or SSI (Supplemental Security Income). Each benefit program has its own requirements and criteria.

How Do I Apply For Benefits On Behalf Of My Child?

To apply for benefits on behalf of your child, you will need to contact the Social Security Administration or the relevant government agency. They will provide you with the necessary information and guide you through the application process.

Will My Child’s Benefits Be Affected If They Start Working After Turning 18?

If your child starts working after turning 18, their earnings may impact their eligibility for certain benefits. It’s important to understand the rules and regulations regarding employment and benefits to ensure you make informed decisions.

What Are The Steps To Ensure A Smooth Transition For My Child’s Benefits?

To ensure a smooth transition for your child’s benefits, it’s important to gather all the necessary information, understand the eligibility criteria, and communicate with the relevant authorities. Consulting with a financial advisor or attorney can also provide valuable guidance.


As your child reaches the age of 18, there are important changes to consider regarding their eligibility for benefits. It’s crucial to understand the implications, as some benefits may continue, while others may be affected or even discontinued. Staying informed and seeking guidance from relevant authorities will ensure a smooth transition during this milestone for both you and your child.

About Author (Marjorie R. Rogers)

The inspiring mum of 6 who dedicates her time to supporting others. While battling with her own demons she continues to be the voice for others unable to speak out. Mental illness almost destroyed her, yet here she is fighting back and teaching you all the things she has learned along the way. Get Started To Read …