Ask Larry

Am I The Only Person Who Can File For Benefits For My Children?

I'm 65, and have two dependents 12 and 10.
My FRA is 66 and 4 months. I'm going thru a divorce and want to know if I'm the only one that can file for the Social Security Family benefit, or can my spouse, soon to be ex-spouse file for the benefit for the two dependents? I get different answers every time I ask a SS representative.

Hi. Either parent could file an application for benefits on their minor children's behalf, but Social Security prefers to have the parent with primary custody apply. When minor children are eligible for benefits, Social Security appoints a representative payee to handle benefits on their behalf. The representative payee is required to use the child's benefits for the child's current needs, or save them for the child's future needs. So, it generally makes sense for the parent who will be appointed as representative payee to also file the application for benefits on the child's behalf.

Best, Jerry

Jan 24 2022 - 12:46pm
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