Ask Larry

Does My Son Have To Apply For Benefits On My Record When I Apply?

my wife retired 4 years ago and our son who is autistic got SSI thru my wife Social Security. I want to retire next year and social security worker says that when I retire my sons SSI will be terminated. My income was higher than my wife so I would get more benefits. My son will get more Social Security benefit so they said they would terminate his SSI. Does he have to apply or is it voluntary


If your son is receiving disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits on your wife's record, those are a type of Social Security benefit. Social Security benefits aren't needs based. Your son can't be paid DAC benefits on both your record and your wife's record at the same time. So, if he qualifies for DAC benefits on both your and your wife's records he'll only be paid on the higher of the of the 2 accounts.

SSI is the abbreviation used for Supplemental Security Income, which is a needs based benefit administered by Social Security. SSI is intended to be a last resort source of support for people who are blind, disabled or over 65, and who have little or no other means of support. Therefore, if an individual receiving SSI becomes eligible for other benefits, they must file for those benefits as a condition of their eligibility for SSI.

It's possible that your son could be receiving both SSI and DAC benefits if his DAC rate isn't high enough to preclude eligibility for SSI. However, if he later becomes eligible for a higher DAC benefit rate on your record that might raise his income level to an amount high enough to make him ineligible for SSI.

I don't have a clear account of what your son is actually receiving, but if he is receiving needs based SSI benefits and he becomes eligible for higher DAC benefits on your account than what he receives on his mother's record he'll be required to file for the higher DAC benefits or lose his SSI benefits. You may want to consider using our software ( to compare your various filing options so that you can determine your best strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Oct 1 2019 - 10:06pm
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