Is It True That My Grandkids Can't Get Benefits On My Record Unless I Adopt Them?

Sep 13 2017 - 9:04am

I was put on disability at age 48 (when i was 1st took off wrk) at time i worked 50-70 hrs a wk. Im now 51 and in my life ive been able to care for my kids without any help. I dont know why i recieve less then a 1000. a mnth. Ive wrked most my life, now i have my 2 grandkids that were took from there parents. Im struggling but was told unless i adopt my g-kids that i cant recieve anything to help them. Is this true?? The house i rent is full of mold but im barely surviving. Id like to be able to own us a house in country but dont know how to get us any help nor know if i should be receiving more money and help for my youngins. Can u plz help me, please!??!
Thank you, Sandra

Hi Sandra,

Yes, it's probably correct that your grandchildren wouldn't qualify for child's benefits on your record unless you adopt them. The only other way that they might qualify is if both of their natural parents were either deceased or disabled when you became eligible for disability benefits. Also, even if your grandchildren do qualify for child's benefits, they may not be able to receive much if anything from your record. There is a special family maximum rate that applies to disability records that in some cases can limit the amount payable to eligible family members to zero (https://www.ssa.gov/OACT/COLA/dibfamilymax.html). Social Security should be able to tell you how much your grandchildren could receive if you adopted them.

I can't tell you whether or not you are receiving the correct amount of benefits, but you could ask Social Security to recompute your benefit rate if you believe it's wrong. You might first want to run your numbers on Social Security's benefit estimator (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/AnypiaApplet.html) to see if the amount you are receiving appears to be accurate.

Best, Jerry