Child Leaves Your Care

If you receive benefits as a wife, husband, widow or widower caring for a child who is under age 16 or who was disabled before age 22, notify the SSA as soon as the child leaves your care. Failure to report this could result in a penalty and an additional loss of benefits. A temporary separation does not affect your benefits as long as you retain parental control over the child. Also, let the SSA know if the child returns to your care.

The SSI law has specific penalties for failing to make timely reports. These penalties can be deducted from your benefits—and you'll still have to return any overpayments. The penalty is $25 for the first failure to timely report, $50 for the second time and $100 for each subsequent failure. Penalties will not be assessed if you were without fault or had good cause for the failure to report.

This section describes only the situations in which reporting changes are different for SSI recipients than for SSDI recipients. Be sure to read Section B first.

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