How Can I Establish That I Paid 50% Of My Grandchild's Support In The Year Before I Filed For Benefits?

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Oct 12 2019 - 4:22pm

I was born on 12/22/1942 and began receiving SS benefits on 10/22/2008 when I was 65 years 10 months. My grandchild for whom I am a legal guardian, has been living with us full time since early 2008. I realize to claim benefits for him I need to establish that I have provided at least 50% support for for a year prior to receiving my benefits. I did not claim him on my Federal taxes for 2007 or 2008. However I covered the total cost for his home and other expenses during this time period. His parents are totally disabled. How can I established that I have paid 50% of his support during the year prior to my receiving social security benefits? Look forward to your response.

Hi,

First of all, your grandchild could only potentially qualify for benefits on your record if he's under age 18, 18 to 19 and still in high school, or if he became disabled prior to age 22. Benefits can normally be claimed retroactively for no more than 6 months. Furthermore, assuming that you haven't adopted your grandchild then in order for him to qualify on your record both of his parents would have to have been deceased or disabled before you started drawing your benefits (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306235#d).

If all of the requirements described above were met, then your grandchild could potentially qualify for child's benefits on your record if he lived with you and you provided at least 1/2 of his support in the year leading up to when you started drawing benefits. When and If your grandchild applies for benefits on your record, Social Security will inform him of what evidence they require. That would likely include at least a copy of your pertinent tax return(s) and perhaps statements from relatives or others who could testify about your grandchild's living arrangements in the year in question.

Best, Jerry