Ask Larry

Can Children Get Benefits From Both Parent's Records?

My children's father is collecting social security and my two disabled adult children were both approved (verbally in a hearing) to collect SSDI last month. We hope to get the Notice of Award soon. Because there are two of them, the amount they can collect is more than SSI but not by much. When I start to collect social security in about 8 years, will they be able to get SSDI from my social security also? If not, could one get it from mine and the other from their father?


Since your children have been approved for benefits on their father's account, they should eventually qualify on your record too, unless they would happen to work and earn too much between now and when you become entitled. The substantial gainful earnings limit is currently $1130 per month, so they'll need to stay below that level of earnings if they do any work.

Children who are entitled on both parent's records only receive benefits on the higher record. You can't split entitlement and have one child draw on one parent's account, while the other draws on a different parent. However, when at least one child qualifies on both parent's accounts, Social Security can combine the parents' family benefit maximums in order to free up a larger amount of benefits to be paid to the children. So, there is a very good chance that your children's benefit rates will increase when you start drawing your benefits in the future.

The maximization software available by subscription on this website is able to handle combined family maximum computations, so you may wish to use it to determine about how much your children will receive. It will also give you a full analysis of your filing options, and when would be the best time for you to apply.

Best, Jerry

Oct 15 2016 - 9:00am
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.