My wife and I live in Nevada, and are in our third year of raising, under a non-judicial guardianship
(albeit with a notarized assignment of guardianship from the mother
--our daughter) two grandchildren, ages 5 and 12. The mother has sole custody
of the 12-year old, although the father has limited, reasonable visitiation with her, and has been paying limited (~$300/month) child support
for the past five-six years or so. The mother has sole custody of the 5-year old, whose father, whereabouts unknown, has never even seen him, and takes no responsibility. Recently, the DA has caught up with him, and around $30-60/month child support apparently is taken from his paycheck. I am 72 and am receiving Social Security benefits. I would like to obtain social security benefits for my Grandchildren, but SS tells me that unless the natural parents are deceased or disabled (which they are not) that a guardian grandparent cannot receive benefits, unless they adopt the grandkids. My first question, is that true? Is there not some type of special non-adoption status that can qualify me to get the enhanced SS benefits (approximately 50% of my current SS benefits per kid)? If not, how difficult will it be to adopt the kids, and what do I have to do in order to do so?