Thousands of Black Children Slighted On Social Security Benefits After Death Of A Parent, Here’s How

Thousands of Black Children Slighted On Social Security Benefits After Death Of A Parent, Here’s How

While losing a parent is never easy, it’s even harder when you have to depend on the government to assist you financially with Social Security benefits.

CBS News reports children, specifically Black children, are missing out on vital Social Security payments after losing a parent. Data from the Social Security Administration shows that only close to 26% of Black children who have lost a parent receive survivor benefits compared to 46% of other races. Former Social Security Administration executive and researcher David Weaver says the stats are alarming. “Social Security is supposed to be a social insurance program, so its benefits are supposed to be broadly distributed,” Weaver said.

“I think the numbers are startling.”

According to a Census report, just about 975,000 Black children have lost at least one parent as of 2021— with an increase during the COVID-19 pandemic. A study from the Imperial College in London found that Black children lost caregivers at twice the rate of white children from April 2020 until the end of 2022.

There are several determining factors as to why Black children are left empty-handed after a parent’s death. The Hill reports that their parent may not have worked enough for Social Security coverage. Some of it comes from the hands of the SSA, such as budget cuts or not being aware of benefit eligibility. Other reasons, like computer glitches and the government’s lack of a solution, have caused issues with child survivor benefits.

In the United States, every employed person pays Social Security taxes. Those who have worked long enough eventually become eligible for monthly benefits once they retire or become disabled. After death, some family members could potentially qualify to receive those benefits. However, when the child is under 18, several factors regarding whether they qualify come into play. In 2022, surviving children received an average of $957.05 every month.