Who is Eligible?
Your surviving children are eligible to receive a dependent child survivor pension as long as they were dependent on you for support at the time of your death. He or she must be:
- under age 18; or
- age 18 to 24 and enrolled in full-time continuous education since age 18 or since you died, whichever occurred later; or
- disabled, having been disabled without interruption since you died.
Dependent on you for support
We consider the child dependent on you for support if you regularly and consistently contribute to the necessary maintenance, or the necessities of life, of the child.
Necessities of life include food, clothing, shelter, medical care and/or transportation. You could contribute to a child's necessary maintenance by paying for certain items directly or by providing personal care and assistance that the child would otherwise need to purchase from a third party.
It is not necessary for the child to be entirely dependent on you. For example, the child may live in a different home from you and receive support from several sources. However, the availability and the amount of other forms of support are relevant in determining whether a child relies on support from you for his or her basic needs.
A child is disabled if he or she has a "severe and prolonged mental or physical disability." The disability is considered to be severe if the person is incapable of regularly pursuing any substantially gainful occupation, and prolonged if it is likely to be long, continued, and of indefinite duration or likely to result in death.
Please contact us if you have a disabled child and would like to know whether he or she might be eligible for a survivor pension; we can do a pre-assessment of your child's eligibility to assist you with your estate planning.
The types of documents or information we may require to review entitlements for surviving dependent or disabled children can be found in the Survivor Pensions for Dependent Children fact sheet.