As you likely know, social security disability benefits are based on the worker's benefit at full retirement age (FRA). This is not determined with a spouse
's work history.
Your grand daughter is getting social security benefits as a result of her father's claim.
It is possible that a spousal benefit might be available. In order for a spousal benefit to be payable:
To qualify for spouse’s benefits, you must be:
At least 62 years of age; or
Any age and caring for a child entitled to receive benefits on your spouse’s record who is younger than age 16 or disabled.
If you are eligible for both your own retirement benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own retirement benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit.
If you choose to begin receiving spouse’s benefits before you reach full retirement age, your benefit amount will be reduced and will not be increased when you reach full retirement age.
Here is an example:
Mary Ann qualifies for a retirement benefit of $250 and a spouse’s benefit of $400. At her full retirement age, she will receive her own $250 retirement benefit, and we will add $150 from her spouse’s benefit, for a total of $400. If she takes her retirement benefit before her full retirement age, both amounts will be reduced.
If you wait until you reach full retirement age to apply for spouse’s benefits, you will receive the maximum benefit, which is up to half of the amount your spouse is entitled to receive at full retirement age. If you have reached full retirement age and you are eligible for a spouse’s benefit and your own retirement benefit, you may have options to increase your own retirement benefit amount.
Because your daughter is caring for a child, she might be eligible even before age 62.
The easiest way to check is an appointment at an SSA office, bringing documents like proof of marriage and the like. Still being legally married might work in her favor.
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