Ask Larry

Will My Daughter's Benefits Go Up When Her Half Brother Stops Getting Benefits?

My daughter who 6 and her half brother who is 18 receive survivor benefits from their deceased dad. Her half brother turned 18 in April and will graduate this month. Will my daughters benefits go up? Thank you very much.


Assuming that those two children are the only people receiving benefits on their deceased father's Social Security record, then the answer is no. Each eligible surviving child of a deceased worker can receive a maximum of up to 75% of the worker's Primary Insurance Amount (PIA). The family maximum benefit (FMB) that can be paid based on a deceased worker's record is always at least 150% of their PIA, so the benefit amounts paid to survivors of the deceased would only be reduced due to the FMB if more than 2 survivors are receiving benefits. Therefore, it sounds like your daughter is probably already receiving her maximum possible survivor rate, in which case her half-brother's entitlement ending won't have any effect on her benefit amount.

Best, Jerry

May 6 2020 - 9:39am
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