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What Social Security rights do children of unwed parents have?

Child support is probably one of the most important matters that family law deals with in Louisiana. It can also be an issue that can generate the greatest amount of divisiveness for parents, married or not.

As we noted in a previous post, a lot of things can influence how the court goes about making final decisions on levels of child support. In cases where the child might be on some sort of government assistance, such as the Family Independence Temporary Assistance Program or Medicaid, the state’s stake is such that regulators seek to be sure both parents are doing all they can to support the best interests of their child.

But there are other forms of government support to which a child might be entitled. Social Security is one that may be available but which many people might forget about. When looking out for the welfare of children it’s important to be sure that every bit of potential legal financial aid, wherever it comes from, is being tapped.

In the case of Social Security it’s important to know that children of unmarried or divorced couples may be eligible for benefits. This would apply whether one or both parents are alive or dead.

There are some specific standards to meet, however. Children must be less than 18 years of age. They can be as old as 19 if they are still in elementary or secondary school full time. Children may be able to collect Social Security from an unwed parent at any age if they became permanently disabled before they reached the age of 22.

Knowing your rights can be difficult. To be sure you know what yours are, speak with an attorney.

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