How Do We Adopt Our Grandchildren Without Money For A Lawyer?

Category: 
Jan 20 2019 - 10:30am

My wife and i recently got custody of our daughters two children. The grandchildrens father has never been in their lives and they receive no child support. I am on disability and my wife has filed for disability but has been denied because we cannot afford a doctor for her. We have been told that to get help with supporting our grandchildren thur my disability we have to legally adopt them. How do we do this without money for a lawyer . is there any help . thank you

Hi,

I'm sorry, but my expertise is limited to Social Security benefits, so I can't give you any advice about adoptions. I can tell you, though, that grandchildren cannot qualify for Social Security child benefits on the record of a grandparent unless they are either a) adopted by the grandparent (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0329.html), or b) both of the grandchild's natural parents were either deceased or disabled at the time that the grandparent became entitled to Social Security benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0325.html).

Furthermore, there is a special formula for calculating the family maximum benefit (FMB) amount that can be paid on the record of a person drawing Social Security disability benefits (SSDI). That formula can in some cases result in a zero benefit rate for family members (e.g. children, spouse) who would otherwise qualify for benefits. That only occurs in cases in which the worker had a limited earnings history and a relatively low SSDI benefit rate as a result. I don't know whether or not the special FMB formula would be involved in your case, but you'll probably want to first check with Social Security to see whether or not child benefits could be paid to your grandchildren in the event of an adoption.

Best, Jerry