Ask Larry

Will My Son Receive My Daughter's Portion Of My Deceased Husband's Benefit Now That She's Turned 18?

My husband passed away in 2005. My two children and his older son recieved a monthly check. When his older son reached 18.. His portion was split between my two children. My oldest daughter just turned 18 on May 21st. Will my son recieve her portion? So far this month was just his normal amount.

Thank you

Hi. No, if your son is the only remaining eligible survivor drawing benefits on your husband's account then your son's benefit rate won't change due to your daughter reaching age 18. The maximum surviving child's benefit rate is equal to 75% of the deceased worker's primary insurance amount (PIA). Up to 2 surviving children can always be paid their full rate if they are the only survivors drawing benefits on a deceased worker's record. The only time that a surviving child's benefit amount is reduced is if there are more than 2 eligible children, or at least 2 eligible children plus a surviving spouse drawing benefits. In that case, they must split the family maximum benefit (FMB) amount that can be paid on the worker's record.

Therefore, assuming that your son and daughter were the only people drawing benefits on your husband's account, then they've already been receiving their maximum monthly benefit rate. And, that means your son's benefit rate won't go up when your daughter stops collecting. The only reason that your children's benefit rates went up when the older child stopped drawing is that when 3 children were drawing they would have been splitting the FMB, and thus being paid less than their full 75% of your deceased husband's PIA.

Best, Jerry

Jun 3 2021 - 6:26pm
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