Ask Larry

Will My Son's Benefits Be Cut When I Retire?

I am a 61 year old man and wondering how my retirement in a few years will affect my Social Security benefits and my disabled son's social security payments. My son is 24 years old and has received Social security and SSI since my wife (his Mother) died in 1997. I was left with 8 children from our marriage, to raise on my own. Needless to say, money was tight these past 20+ years. My son's current benefits are broken down into three parts. 1. As SSI. 2. As Social Security and 3. A very small portion from the state supplementing the social security portion (about $30.00 per month). The reason for this complicated breakdown I don't understand. My concern ( if you could help me) is will Social Security simply cut my son's benefits to accommodate my benefits when I retire? Also The IRS gave me a lot of grief about claiming my son as my dependent after he turned 21 and I finally gave into their non-sense and simply stopped claiming him as my dependent, even though he needs me to care for him 24/7. Any help and advice would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!


I don't have any expertise in tax rules, so I can't help you with that issue.

With regard to Social Security, when you file for your benefits it sounds like your disabled son will qualify for disabled adult child (DAC) benefits on your record. He could then receive the higher of the DAC rates payable on either your of your wife's record, but not both.

SSI (Supplemental Security Income) is a needs based payment, and the maximum payment rate is currently $735. If your son's DAC rate on your account turns out to be higher than that, his SSI payments will likely stop when he becomes entitled on your record. The State supplement will almost certainly also stop if and when your son's SSI payments end.

Your situation is further complicated by the fact that it sounds like it might be advantageous for you to file for widower's benefits at some point, and then switch to your own record at age 70. Your best overall strategy depends on your level of earnings and retirement plans, as well as your potential benefit rates as a widower and on your own record. Our maximization software can help you determine your optimal filing strategy.

Best, Jerry

Nov 16 2017 - 8:19am
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