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Families and Social Security benefits

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Do you have a late life family?  Are you a parent who was dependent on a child’s support but the child has since died?  You may be eligible for Social Security benefits.

Maybe you’ve had a child later in life or you’ve taken on the responsibility of raising a grandchild.  If you are claiming Social Security benefits and have a dependent child or in some cases a dependent grandchild, the child may be eligible for Social Security benefits.  Approximately 6 percent of Social Security beneficiaries are children that meet the requirements.  Social Security benefits for children of retired, disabled or dead insured workers became available just four years after Social Security came into existence.   This is one instance in which claiming early may be the right thing to do.  Here’s an article on the benefit.  There are a couple Social Security policies that benefit a child or the parent (or a grandparent) of a child.  You can find more information on the Social Security website hereMarketWatch had an article about Social Security claiming tricks that also covers this option.  If you prefer reading it as a technical document, you can find that here and here.  If your child is receiving Social Security and the spouse whose record the child is claiming benefits from dies, you may be eligible for Mother or Father’s benefits.

The same MarketWatch article also covered claiming benefits as a dependent parent.  Most people think of Social Security as retirement benefits but it also has a role as survivor benefits. What may surprise some people is that if you are a dependent parent of a child who has died, you may qualify for Social Security benefits as well.   The requirements are pretty narrowly defined and it’s an option that is rarely used as many people don’t know about it.  The Social Security website page with this information is here.

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