Can My Grandchildren Get Benefits If I Adopt Them?

Category: 
Jan 10 2019 - 7:17am

We have custody of 2 grandkids. I am retired from post office and receive disability also. We have had kids for 4 years and I retired 6 years and started disability 10/16. We are thinking of adopting them. The dad wants to sign them over. The mother ,our daughter. Has been in and out of rehab and might be going to prison. If we adopt them can they receive any benefits from me?

Hi,

Possibly. Grandchildren can only be paid Social Security child benefits on the record of a grandparent if they are either adopted by the grandparent, or if both of the child's natural parents are either deceased or disabled (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0325.html). Furthermore, the grandchild must either be under age 18, 18 to 19 and attending high school, or have become disabled prior to age 22 in order to potentially qualify for child benefits.

However, there is a special formula for calculating the family maximum benefit (FMB) amount that can be paid on the record of a person who receives Social Security disability benefits. As a result, sometimes no auxiliary benefits (e.g. spousal, child) can be paid on a disabled worker's record. That only applies when the disabled worker's benefit rate is relatively low due to a limited earnings history, though. I don't have enough information about you to know whether or not your FMB would permit benefits to be paid to your grandchildren if you adopt them. You may want to consider using our software to determine how much your grandchildren could potentially receive if you were to adopt them.

Best, Jerry