Ask Larry

How Can This Be Fair?

I retired in July at age 62 and took SS $2136. My Wife (62)did not work but applied for her part of my benefits $1056. We have a Disabled since birth, Adult daughter(28) that lives in an Adult supported living home with 24/7 supervision. She was on SSI. We received a letter shortly after my Wife received her letter confirming her $1056 saying they made a mistake because my daughter was going on SSA and she was going from her SSI amount of $700 to SSA $1085.70. So now my Wife was being reduced down to $726. How can that be fair?


SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a needs based program intended as a last resort source of income for people who are disabled, blind or age 65 or older and who have little or no other means of support. SSI is funded by general tax revenues, not Social Security taxes. Anyone who receives SSI is required to apply for any other types of benefits for which they may be eligible, including Social Security.

If your daughter qualifies for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits, she couldn't refuse to file for them without losing her SSI. And, if both she and your wife are eligible for benefits on your record their benefit rates are subject to the family maximum benefit that can be paid from your record. The reason that your wife's benefit rate is apparently lower than your daughter's is due to the fact that your wife elected to take a reduced benefit rate in return for starting to draw her spousal benefits early, whereas DAC benefits are not reduced for age.

Best, Jerry

Mar 28 2019 - 8:25pm
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