Good morning Jack, with regard to your post:
"Question is regarding survivor benefits for my Granddaughter. My Granddaughter just turned twelve and is receiving survivor benefits of $400 each month. This is based on her Mothers (my Daughter) limited Social Security benefit.. My Daughter passed away in Feb 2015. -------- I am so sorry.
"Prior to her death, we as Grandparents were appointed legal Guardianship. My Granddaughter’s Father has been gone and out of her life for the last 7 years. ------- OK, because he is the legal parent, if not already done, you should perhaps file a motion for child support against him. He may never pay it, but you never know. Depending on the talents of your court/child support agency, there may be success there. Some courts/counties care more about getting their obligations to collect performed more than others.
"I’m 68 years old and will be retiring at the end of the year (2015). My Social Security monthly payment will be $2500 each month. ------- If you hang on til 70, you can increase that by 8% per year. Which also effects future survivor benefits for any dependents later.
"My question is….Could my Granddaughters monthly benefit be based off of my i SS benefit rather than the limited amount based off of my Daughter’s benefit ? Jack L. " ------ Yes, but ONLY if you adopt her. Given the loss of her mother, and if her father is very out of the picture, this may be easier than you think. But, to be clear, you must be the legal parent, not just the guardian, for the right to attach to her.