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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13564
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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My granddaughter whom my husband and I have legal custody

Customer Question

My granddaughter whom my husband and I have legal custody of, has a father incarcerated for life and a mother who abandoned her and left the state and is now also incarcerated. Can she receive SS benefits?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

She can IF you adopt her! Technically, as of now, she has two parents legally obligated to support her, against whom child support orders should be petitioned for (obviously they can't pay it while in jail) - but if the bio parents agree to the adoption, then their legal obligation ends, yours begins, and in the eyes of the SSA, the child is your dependent. As of now, she has two parents under whom she'd get a dependent benefit should they become eligible for SS, and we can't have more than that, typically. But if they relinquish and you two come on board as he legal parents, then they each can get up to 50% of your primary insurance amount. 1 amount, usually the one that will provide the most. Grandparents do do this a lot, with the agreement of the bio parents, when the bio parents see with smarts in doing this, in that their child now has financial support and stability despite their inability or unwillingess to be adequately financially supportive. They should also know that should either your H or you pass on, while the children are minors, they will bump to a 75% survivor benefit, rather than the 50%. This money can be used for college future, etc., for the children if not strictly needed to feed them, so it can be a great savings vehicle for their future, that they would never otherwise have - and it can positively change the future course of their lives.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

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Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.


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