Ask Larry

How Can I Find Out What Impact My Wife Filing At Age 62 Would Have On My Daughter's Benefits?

Hi Larry: My 28 year old disabled (from birth) daughter currently receives a Medicaid(?) payment of approximately $700/month plus food stamps of~ $140/month. My 62 year old wife is considering drawing social security now for health reasons.
How do I find out the impact of this action on my daughter's monthly income. AlLso, I was always the breadwinner and my potential Social Security benefit is substantially higher than my wife's. When I start drawing will social security my daughters benefit payment go up?


I assume what your daughter receives is Supplemental Security Income (SSI), which is a needs based benefit administered by the Social Security Administration. Medicaid doesn't pay monthly benefits to the best of my knowledge.

If that's the case and if your daughter qualifies for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits based on your wife's Social Security record, then your daughter's SSI payments will be reduced dollar for dollar by at least all but the first $20 of her DAC benefit payment. Your daughter's potential DAC benefit would be calculated at 50% of your wife's primary insurance amount (PIA), so her SSI payments could be reduced or terminated depending on how high your wife's PIA is. A person's PIA is the amount that they'd receive if they start drawing their Social Security retirement benefits at their full retirement age (FRA).

If your daughter qualifies for DAC benefits and her benefit rate is high enough to cause her SSI to be terminated, it could also cause her to lose some or all of her Medicaid coverage and food stamps. I have no expertise in either of those programs, though, so I you would need to check with the agencies handling those benefits for more information.

By the way, you mention that your wife may file for her benefits early due to health reasons. If your wife is unable to work due to a disabling impairment she may want to consider filing for Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits. If she qualifies for SSDI she can receive her full PIA, instead of drawing reduced retirement benefits which would be reduced by roughly 25% to 30% if she starts drawing at age 62.

The answer to your last question is yes, assuming that your PIA is higher than your wife's PIA. If your daughter qualifies for DAC benefits on both your record and your wife's record, she could be paid 50% of the higher of your PIAs.

You and your wife should strongly consider using our software ( to do all of your Social Security planning. The software can do all of the computations required for you to be able to determine your benefit rates and your daughter's potential DAC rates, which should enable you to determine your best overall strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Jun 7 2019 - 7:23am
MaxiFi software running on a laptop
Get What's Yours!
Discover tens of thousands in extra retirement dollars with Maximize My Social Security software!
  • Find your maximized strategy
  • Unlimited what-ifs
  • Step-by-Step filing instructions
  • Our software's lifetime-benefit increase for an illustrative couple earning $65K each and planning to take retirement benefits at 62.

    Results will differ based on your specific case and filing strategy.

Getting Started is Easy
Web-based software. Works on ALL browsers. No download.