Should My Daughter Get More Now That Her Father Is Deceased?

Sep 8 2019 - 11:01am

I am a single Disabled custodial parent who receives DI with Child Aux. the single noncustodial parent child support order obligor *we never married lived apart* paid child support by state mandated wage garnishment. He unexpectedly died. Social Security deemed our child *technically entitled* to child survivors on his earnings record but pays nothing, leaving the financial burden solely based on my income alone. Leaving her deprived of the support from each parent. Losing not only him physically but all the financial means he provided and child depended upon. It is gross to learn had I the custodial parent died instead of him our child would have actually had a gain of 25% due to the 50% aux. Derived off my disability would convert over to child survivors at 75% and child would still have his financial support. That is to me discrimination. Not allowing the child to gain actual payment of her entitled support thru the means of what her father paid into that has a child survivors benefit holding the abitlity to give her the needed financial support to fulfill his court ordered obligation. How can this be legal for it is certainly not fair nor is it equal treatment. There is no child in care nothing. Only getting what she has always had and that comes from my earnings. Is there some rule of exception we are missing? Should our incomes for family maximum be applied to either his record or mine so that she gains in what is currently paid to her? How can a court ordered child support given for her means of survival be just taken away when the need is still here? We are in need and help is appreciated. Thank you


I can only answer your questions regarding Social Security benefits, and if a child is eligible for Social Security benefits on the records of more than one parent they can only be paid on whichever record their benefit rate is highest. That's governed by the Social Security law and regulations as passed by Congress. So, it sounds like your daughter could only be paid the higher of a) 50% of your primary insurance amount (PIA), or b) 75% of her deceased father's PIA. You're correct that if you died your daughter could then be eligible for 75% of your PIA, but that has no bearing on her current options.

If you've filed for survivor benefits for your daughter on her father's account and you believe that her benefit rate should be higher on that account than it is on your account you could file a request for appeal. That probably won't change anything, though, unless a mistake was made and it turns out that 75% of your daughter's father's PIA is higher than the benefit rate she currently receives on your record.

Best, Jerry