Am I Correct?

Apr 10 2019 - 10:16am

My husband's benefit is 2733 per month. His PIA is about 2297 and his family maximum about 4020. I am 66 and filing for only spousal benefits

My husband has a disabled adult son, who has been disabled since age 7.
After subtracting my husband's PIA, one would assume that his son, and I would each receive 861 per month.

However, I believe that his son, the DAC is dually entitled. In addition to being entitled on his fathers record as an auxiliary, he is entitled as a survivor on his mother's record. His mother died in December of 2017. We believe that she did have her 40 quarters to qualify for social security. She worked 3 to 5 years in the early 50s then part time from 1982 until 2016. We do know that she never applied for Social Security, either on her own record or on her ex-husbands, but her son should still be dually entitled to survivor benefits on his mother’s record and auxiliary benefits on his father’s record.

Although he should be entitled to 75 percent of his mothers PIA, we do not know what that is, however it appears that this dual entitlement was not taken into consideration when my spousal benefit what calculated.

As I understand the rules, his son's benefit would be based on the combined family maximum.
If the mother's PIA was only 500 and her family max was 750, the combined family would be 4770.

I believe that this combined family maximum should allow me my full spousal benefit of about 1148 per month and his son's full DAC benefit of 1148.

Am I correct?


You're not technically correct, but your on the right track. If your husband's son is eligible for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits on both his mother's and father's Social Security records, then the family maximum benefit (FMB) on those records could be combined. That's not called dual entitlement, though, because the same type of benefit (i.e. DAC) is involved. Instead, it's referred to as simultaneous entitlement, and the simultaneous entitlement is what permits FMBs to be combined.

Dual entitlement refers to a person's entitlement to two different types of Social Security benefits. Examples would include a person entitled to both Social Security retirement and widow's benefits, or to both DAC benefits and Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits based on the person's own work record. Dual entitlement does NOT permit combining the FMBs of the two records involved.

If what you describe is correct, though, and if your husband's son is in fact simultaneously entitled to DAC benefits on both his mother and father's records, then the FMBs on those two records should be combined. Just to be clear, though, 'entitled' means that the person has filed for and been approved for benefits, so the FMBs could only be combined if actual entitlement has been established on both records. But, if your husband's son is entitled on both parents' records and if the combined FMB amount is $4770 and your husband's primary insurance amount (PIA) is $2297, then yes both you and your husband's son should be able to receive a full 50% of your husband's PIA, or $1148 after rounding.

You and your husband should strongly consider using our software to do compare all of your various options so that you can be sure to choose your optimal strategy for claiming your Social Security benefits.

Best, Jerry