2. Learn about the surviving child’s benefit

If your parent made contributions while they were working, you may be able to get a surviving child’s benefit when they die. It depends on whether your parent made enough .

To get the surviving child’s benefit you must be:

  • either under 18, or under 25 and a full-time student at a recognized school or university, and
  • one of the following:
    • a biological child, or
    • an adopted child who was what the government calls “legally” or “in fact” adopted while under 21, or
    • a child who was “legally” or “in fact” in the custody and control of your parent while you were under 21.

The surviving child’s benefit is paid monthly and the amount is adjusted each year. In 2019, it was $250.27 a month.

Make sure to apply

You or your surviving parent or guardian must apply for you to get the surviving child’s benefit.

There are different applications depending on whether you or your parent or guardian applies. The government has links to the applications under the heading What you need before you start.

Apply as soon as your parent dies so you don’t lose any benefits. If you apply later, you can only get back payments for up to 12 months.

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