Social Security Benefits for grandchildren Most people have planned their life after retirement to be relaxing, and free of financial worries. After working for their entire life, all they want is to have just enough to meet the basic needs, medical cost of their treatments, and maintain the standard of living they are used to. However, life sometimes takes an unexpected turn and introduces one to responsibilities one could not have imagined.
One of such unexpected responsibilities is having to care for one’s grandchildren. Though most grandparents would happily do so out of love for their offspring, the challenge they might face is arranging finances to provide for the dependents. Social security benefits for grandchildren are a solution to those worries.
Unlike most other federal benefits, this form of aid is not widely known to the public. However, under relevant circumstances, it may serve as a ray of hope for many. These benefits may be available for biological as well as adopted grandchildren if their parents or those who adopted them have either passed away or become disabled. Also, if the grandparents had legally adopted one of the grandchildren, they would be entitled to receive funds for their upbringing in case they became disabled or retired. The dependent children will also be liable to receive the benefit in case the grandparents die.
However, there are certain prerequisites to availing of these benefits. If the parents who gave birth to the child, or originally adopted him/her, are not making any financial contributions towards their support, neither living under the same roof as the child and the grandparent, only then social security benefits for grandchildren will be granted to the applicant. Even if these conditions are met, there are certain rules defined by the government that must be met to avail the benefit.
- The child must be living with the grandparent before reaching the age of 18 years.
- S/he must have been residing with the applicant (the grandparent) for the last year, i.e., counting backward from the month before the one in which they are entitled to receive social security.
- Also, the applicant must have been paying for at least half of the child’s expenses during that period.
- If the birth of the dependent took place within the last one year, then for the grandparent to be eligible for receiving social security benefits, they must have been living with the newborn and providing for 50% of his/her expenses since the time of his/her birth.
However, even if the above requirements are met there are certain conditions which if not met, may cause the application to get rejected.
One such condition is that grandparents will only be eligible for receiving social security if BOTH parents of the child have either passed away or suffer from a disability of any sort. If this is not the case, then the child must be legally adopted by the applicant to get access to funds for meeting the expenses of upbringing the child.
Some of you may be wondering what would be the amount that one can get via social security benefit for grandchildren.
It is worth noting that the applicant will only be eligible for receiving these benefits if s/he is retired or disabled. The dependents will also be eligible for social security In case they (the grandparents) die. However, children living with healthy grandparents who can earn will not be liable to receive the benefit.
The amount that can be received is up to 50% of the total retirement benefit of the grandparent, given that it does not exceed the family maximum benefit. However, dependents of deceased grandparents may get up to 75% of the late
Grandparent’s basic Social Security benefit.
The numbers of grandparent-led households have increased in recent years, partly due to the national opioid crisis that has robbed children of their homes and parents, leaving their grandparents to pick up the pieces. According to Census Bureau data cited in an Investment News article dated 2018, 2.5 million grandparents shared a house with their grandchildren. They also reported being responsible for their needs.
Therefore, grandparents must plan well in advance when to file for retirement. Taking retirement benefits at the wrong time can result in family members missing out on a large sum of federal benefits. For example, if a couple waits till their actual retirement age, they will be entitled to receive benefits as per their lifetime earnings. However, they may lose out on additional benefits that can be gained by their family members if they retire early. The reason being that for the grandchildren to benefit from the social security fund, it is essential that the grandparents first file for retirement (if they are alive).
Therefore, every individual must make an informed decision regarding filing for different federal funds as they might be interrelated and the timeliness of availing one may impact the other.