Ask Larry

How Would My Disabled Child's Survivor Rate Be Calculated?

Hi, it is surprisingly difficult to find accurate and understandable information on Survivor Benefits for Disabled Adult Children. It appears that my DAC would eventually get 75% of "something" related to my own retirement benefit. If I claim this year at age 62 instead of my Full Retirement Age (66 and a half), and take a reduced retirement benefit, is my DAC's eventual Survivor Benefit reduced accordingly? And likewise, if I wait until 70 to claim, will my DAC's eventual Survivor Benefit go up to 75% of that fully increased benefit amount? If I die at, say, age 68, before claiming, is my DAC's Survivor Benefit calculated at 75% of what I would have received by claiming at 68? Or does my DAC just get 75% of my Full Retirement Age benefit regardless of my own claiming or death age? Thanks for explaining this, I'm sure you have plenty of readers who will benefit from your information.


The full benefit rate for a surviving disabled adult child is equal to 75% of the deceased's parent's primary insurance amount (PIA). A person's PIA is equal to the amount of their Social Security retirement benefit if they start drawing at full retirement age (FRA).

If you file for your benefits at age 62, your reduced rate would not affect your child's benefit rate. Nor would waiting until age 70 to claim your benefits affect your child's rate. Either way, your disabled child's full survivor rate would be calculated at 75% of your PIA. That would also be true if you died at age 68 having never claimed benefits.

Best, Jerry

Jul 31 2019 - 11:13am
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