Does The Combined Family Maximum End When There's No Longer A Simultaneously Entitled Child?

Nov 18 2020 - 8:11am

I get SSDI and I have three children who get benefits off of my record. My oldest is simultaneous entitled under myself and my ex husband. I have the higher earning record so she is paid off of mine. However it gave us the combined family max and each child was awarded a higher equal benefit. My oldest just turned 18 and her benefit has stopped. I was told her benefit would be rolled out to the younger two children. However this month it was not and they actually took money away from each of the younger two kids. I have read a ton of information but I can not find ANYWHERE that states what happens to the benefit/combined family max when a simultaneous entitled child turns 18. So my question is, when simultaneous entitled beneficiary causes a CFM allowing other beneficiary to get a higher benefit amount turns 18 does the CFM actually stop as well? The way POMS is written it doesn't make it sound like it should.

Hi,

Yes. The family maximum benefit (FMB) amounts from two different accounts can only be combined if there is a child who is entitled to benefits on both accounts. If there's no child who is entitled to benefits on both records, the FMBs on those records can't be combined. Therefore, if your oldest child was the only one of your children who was simultaneously entitled to benefits on another parent's account, then the combined family maximum would no longer apply when that child's entitlement terminates.

Best, Jerry