Ask Larry

Do CDB Benefits Convert To RIB At FRA?

Hello -

I receive a type of DIB called CDB (Childhood Disability Benefit, formerly known as DAC - Disabled Adult Child benefit).

Does this automatically convert to RIB at FRA (67 in my case)?

Can this be suspended for 3 years at FRA in order to increase the benefit by 24%?

I have another very important question:

I highly suspect that the PIA they used to calculate my benefit is wrong - my father was a doctor for well over 40 years - yet my DAC / CDB benefit is nowhere near the maximum, even considering that it's only 75% of PIA...

How can I find out what my father's final social security checks were, or what his actual PIA was, or how much he earned each year during his long career?

Best Regards,

Hi Matthew,

No, childhood disability benefits (CDB) never convert to Social Security retirement benefits (RIB). CDB benefits are either an auxiliary or survivor benefit that's based on a parent's Social Security earnings history, whereas Social Security retirement benefits are based on a person's own earnings history.

And no, you can't suspend CDB benefits to get a higher future rate. CDB benefits are calculated based either on 50% of the primary insurance amount (PIA) of the living parent on whose record the benefits are paid, or 75% of the parent's PIA if the parent is deceased.

If you have access to your father's full Social Security earnings history you could calculate his PIA using our software, but Social Security probably won't be willing to provide you with that information if you don't already have it. If they won't provide you with a copy of your father's earnings history, they should at least be willing to tell you the PIA they are using, and they should also be willing to explain to you how your rate was calculated. Or, if you've only recently been awarded benefits you may be able to file an appeal (

Also, note that CDB beneficiaries sometimes aren't paid a full 75% of the deceased parent's PIA if other survivors are drawing benefits and the family maximum benefit (FMB) comes into play. I don't have any way of knowing if that may apply in your case.

Best, Jerry

Aug 11 2020 - 9:28am
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