Ask Larry

Will My Daughter Get Higher Benefits If I Wait Until Age 70 To Start Drawing?

My daughter has been disabled since a child. She gets SSI, MediCal and Regional Center services. After 4 years she got a low income apartment and needs to work I haven't worked since last October and turn 66 August 2018 .I was told to wait to 70 to file so her 50% benefit would be greater. However today I was told her benefit is fixed to my age 66 benefit even if I wait to 70 and I should consider filing so she can get benefits from my retirement benefits. Should she stay on SSI or should I file so she gets more. If she gets married how will it affect SSI versus SS . How about medical benefits? Can she loose them? How does her earned income and limits change between the two plans? How about after I die, does one affect her differently for survivor benefits? I would like to maximize her benefit and mine. Thank you


Your daughter's Social Security disabled adult child's (DAC) benefit amount would not be higher if you wait until age 70 to start drawing your benefits. Regardless of when you file, her basic benefit rate would be 50% of your full retirement age rate (PIA).

Your daughter wouldn't have the option of staying on SSI (Supplemental Security Income) and not taking DAC benefits when she becomes eligible. However, it's possible that she could still continue to be eligible for a smaller SSI payment depending on her DAC rate. SSI is a needs based payment of last resort, and recipients are required to file for any other benefits to which they may be entitled.

Marriage normally terminates DAC entitlement unless the beneficiary's spouse is also entitled to certain types of Social Security benefits ( Marriage can also affect a person's SSI eligibility or payment rate, since their spouse's income and resources could then be counted when determining whether or not they meet the SSI guidelines.

MediCal is also a needs based benefit, so any changes in income or financial circumstances can affect a person's eligibility. DAC beneficiaries qualify for Medicare after 24 months of DAC entitlement, though, and Medicare is not needs based nor is it affected by marital status.

A person can normally earn up to $1,170 per month without losing DAC eligibility. SSI recipients normally lose $1 of their payments for each $2 that they earn in excess of $65 in a month.

Your death would likely not directly affect your daughter's SSI, unless she receives an inheritance that would make her ineligible. However, her basic DAC rate would increase from 50% of your PIA to 75% of your PIA as a surviving child, which could affect her SSI eligibility or payment rate.

You should strongly consider using the maximization software available on this website in order to explore your filing options and determine your best strategy for claiming benefits.

Best, Jerry

Nov 15 2017 - 6:59am
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