Will My Cousin's Benefits Be Affected If Her Daughter Gets SS Benefits From Her Father's Account?

Mar 21 2017 - 6:30am

My cousin is 39 years old and has a daughter who just turned 14. My cousin has been receiving permanent SSDI payments ($667/mo) plus SSI payments ($31.02/mo). Her daughter has been receiving SSDI payments ($55/mo) based on her mother's benefits. The daughter's father, who has never been married to her mother, is currently applying for SS retirement at age 63. His minor daughter is eligible for SS benefits based on his retirement benefit. How will this scenario affect and/or reduce the mother's current SSDI & SSI benefits or the daughter's current SSDI benefit (based on her mother's benefits) under the "maximum family benefit" calculation? They are not, nor ever were, a "married family." The mother has primary/sole custody. Additionally, will the father's SS benefits be garnished to ensure payment of child support (which he does not voluntarily pay)? We are trying to ensure that the mother does not lose her benefits due to the father applying for SS retirement under which their daughter will be eligible for & receive benefits for 4 years. Thank you!


You cousin's daughter can only receive child's benefits on one of her parent's records at a time, so assuming that her benefit rate is higher on her father's record, the $55 she receives on her mother's record will stop. Regardless of how much the daughter receives on her father's account, however, it should not affect your cousin's SSDI or SSI benefits.

Social Security benefits may be garnished to pay for child support, but only if there is a valid court order mandating the garnishment.

Best, Jerry