My wife and I are raising two grandchildren as our own. We have been since their birth. We clothe them, shelter them, feed them, send them to school just as we did our own children and we love them even more.
We have legal custody of both. I retired at full retirement age and have started receiving my checks. When I asked if I could claim my grandchildren, I was told they had to be adopted. Is this true? One is now 14 and the other is 16. I would really like to receive the college benefit for them if there is a way before they are too old and no further qualify. Is there a way other than adoption?
Thank you in advance.
Short of adoption, the only way that your grandchildren could qualify for benefits on your record is if both of their natural parents are either deceased or disabled (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306235).