Social Security benefits for children are a big deal. In January 2017, there were more than 4.2 million children receiving Social Security benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired or deceased. These benefit payments to children total more than $2.6 billion every month.
Sadly, many children don’t get the benefits for which they are eligible. Most people don’t know about the qualifications and rules for this special benefit, so they don’t know to apply for the children in their lives.
In 2012 there were 2.7 million grandparents who had primary responsibility for a grandchild under the age of 18, according to a recent US Census Bureau report. Many of these grandparents don’t know that Social Security retirement benefits for dependent grandchildren is a real possibility.
Retirement doesn’t always go as expected. It hasn’t for the Causey’s. Instead of the frequent traveling they had always planned for their retirement, they are raising their young grandchildren. There’s no sense of burden though, they strongly believe it’s a privilege to have the mental, financial, and physical health that affords them the chance to offer security to their grandchildren. I admire their attitude! I hope that I would feel the same if I were placed in their situation.
Although the Causey’s had a well thought out retirement income plan, they’ve quickly discovered that the extra expense of raising kids will require them to increase their monthly cash flow.
They were surprised when I advised them to file for Social Security benefits immediately. They had always planned to wait until full retirement age to file for benefits, but that all changed when they found out that by filing for their own benefits, they would turn on Social Security benefits to their dependent grandchildren as well.
It’s not one of the more well-known benefits, but under the right conditions grandchildren (or step-grandchildren) can receive a benefit based on the work history of a grandparent.