Ask Larry

When My Older Child Stops Getting Benefits Will My Younger Child's Benefit Amount Increase Or Stay The Same?

I have two children receiving survivor benefits on behalf of their father's passing. When my oldest is no longer eligible for the benefit, will my younger child's amount increase or stay the same?

Hi. The only way that your younger child's benefit amount would increase when your older child is no longer eligible for benefits is if their current individual benefit rates are being reduced due to the family maximum benefit (FMB) amount. Unreduced child survivor benefits are calculated based on 75% of the deceased parent's primary insurance amount (PIA), and the minimum FMB that's available to be paid to eligible survivors is always at least 150% of the deceased worker's PIA. So, the only time that survivor benefits are reduced due to the FMB is if more than 2 children are eligible for benefits on the deceased person's account, or if there is both a child(ren) and surviving spouse eligible for benefits on the same account.

Therefore, if your two children are the only people receiving benefits on their father's account, then they should already be receiving their unreduced benefit rate of 75% of their father's PIA. And, that would mean that your younger child's benefit rate won't change when your older child stops getting benefits.

Best, Jerry

Mar 11 2023 - 11:00am
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