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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 41221
Experience:  Multiple jurisdictions, specialize in business/contract disputes, estate creation and administration.
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my late husband and I had legal guardianship of our grandson

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my late husband and I had legal guardianship of our grandson at the time he was 16 month old. we have raised him as our own--he is now 15 years old. My husband died suddenly in 2001 leaving me with no benefits from his 40 years of work (30 years in the military) I adopted David in 2006 because I did not want to leave this earth with my hard earned money going to no one. I was told recently, that David is eligible for his grandfather's social security money. I never remarried. I have tried to apply for disability for a chronic heart failure condition along with diabetes and major depression but was told I was not sick enough and I could not apply for social security benefits from my husband because I am not old enough (60) and make too much from my military retirement and disability funds. Besides I adopted David after my husband was deceased. I am not understanding why he and I paid into these funds all of our lives to never be able to collect it. do I need to hire a lawyer to get a straight answer from the Social Security people? I'm sure they are tired of seeing me!xxxxxxxxxxxx

Thank you for your question.

Hmm, at the time your spouse passed away, was there a court order in place giving him guardianship of the child, or at the time there was nothing formally written anywhere?
Customer: replied 4 years ago.

my husband and I had and still have the legal custody court ordered guardianship paperwork. Though my adoption of David outweighs these papers, I kept them to show the consistency of care has never been broken.

Thank you for your follow-up. I appreciate the additional details.

Guardianship is not the same as adoption, the state would still consider your spouse as a 'stranger to the child because the child was never formally his. However this isn't a traditional 'legal stranger' issue because the child was still your husband's dependent and the child was his grandchild which still make him immediate family. In this situation your child should be eligible for social security and I am really not clear on why you are being denied. Frankly I likewise see this as a wrongful denial--I do suggest that you consider retaining counsel and having the social security attorney file a petition on your request. You should be able to retain counsel at and by browsing their listings.

Hope that helps.

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