The Lifetime Earnings Effects of the Social Security Student Benefit

Published: 2023
Project ID: UM23-14


In 1981, Congress voted to eliminate the “student benefit” of Social Security, which allowed for the continuation of child benefits past the age of 18 for those enrolled in schooling full-time. We compare the lifetime earnings of eligible children who turned 18 just before and after the benefit ended, with particular focus on the earnings differences among Black individuals.