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Hi I am Dan - SSA Benefits for Minor Children
Old 03-16-2012, 11:32 AM   #1
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Hi I am Dan - SSA Benefits for Minor Children

I will be 62 in August 2012. I have two minor children ages 12 and 9. My wife is 52 and self employed. Can I file for benefits at 62 and will my minor children begin receiving benefits also. I do not need the money now, so should I suspend my benefit after filing for my minor children? And will they continue to receive the benefits after I suspend mind.
Also, can my wife file for benefits after I do even though she is not 62? What happens to her benefits if I suspend mine.

Dan
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:39 AM   #2
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SSA benefits for minor children are only payable upon death of a parent, not retirement.
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Old 03-16-2012, 11:49 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Brat View Post
SSA benefits for minor children are only payable upon death of a parent, not retirement.
There has been previous discussion here regarding this, and I recall being a little shocked at the time to discover that minor children of retirees receiving SS OAB do in fact get money as well.

From the SSA website.
Quote:
When you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Your eligible child can be your biological child, adopted child or stepchild. A dependent grandchild may also qualify. To receive benefits, the child must:
  • be unmarried; and
  • be under age 18; or
  • be 18-19 years old and a full-time student (no higher than grade 12); or
  • be 18 or older and disabled from a disability that started before age 22.
http://www.ssa.gov/retire2/yourchildren.htm

And elsewhere on the SSA website:
Quote:
When you start receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, other family members also may be eligible for payments. For example, benefits can be paid to your husband or wife:...

Benefits also can be paid to your unmarried children if they are [same conditions as above]...

How much can family members get?

Each family member may be eligible for a monthly benefit that is up to half of your retirement or disability benefit amount. However, there is a limit to the total amount of money that can be paid to you and your family. The limit varies, but is generally equal to about 150 to 180 percent of your retirement or disability benefit.
Publication 05-1024 http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10024.html

As to the OP's question - I would suggest calling the SSA and asking them. Please let us know their response here because I bet others will want this info some day.

Edit to add: This is not the post I was thinking of, but I noted that the OP there (wolf) is still around and recently updated the 2008 thread (in Jan 2012). Social Security at 62 with minor children
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Old 03-16-2012, 12:09 PM   #4
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Really! Interesting. The only benefits I had heard about for minor children was when the breadwinner died.
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Old 03-16-2012, 05:24 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by danhart View Post
I will be 62 in August 2012. I have two minor children ages 12 and 9. My wife is 52 and self employed. Can I file for benefits at 62 and will my minor children begin receiving benefits also. I do not need the money now, so should I suspend my benefit after filing for my minor children? And will they continue to receive the benefits after I suspend mind.
Also, can my wife file for benefits after I do even though she is not 62? What happens to her benefits if I suspend mine.

Dan
Wrong, you can collect benefits for minor children until they are 18, I believe. I do for my daughter. But.....I was over the age of 66 and my wife doesn't have any employment income. My daughter receives 50% of my amount...over a 1000 bucks a month! Good luck. I would call Social Security, they were extremely helpful explaning my options.
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Old 03-16-2012, 06:24 PM   #6
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Can someone explain to me why folks that choose to make babies late in life should be compensated? IMHO these folks should take care of their own responsibilities.
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Old 03-16-2012, 09:30 PM   #7
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SSA benefits for minor children are only payable upon death of a parent, not retirement.
That would be news to my husband and children. My husband retired when he was 62 and began drawing SS. Since then our minor children have indeed received benefits. Benefits when a parent is retired are 1/2 of full retirement benefits (they are, I believe, 3/4 when the parent is deceased). However, they are subject to a family limit.

To give an example, DH receives $1847 a month. Our two children receive $879 a month and each one's benefits are limited due to the family max. Our son will turn 18 in a few months. If we had not yet graduated from high school he could continue to receive benefits until he graduated (actually I think technically it is until 19 but must be attending secondary school). He graduated early and is already in college so his benefits will cease immediately (he is paid for the month before he turns 18, not the month he is 18).

When he turns 18, our daughter's benefits will increase. I don't know the exact amount yet but I think somewhere between $250 and $300 a month more.

I don't know about the suspension issue as DH did not suspend his benefits.

I could have received 1/2 his benefits as someone with care of a child under 16. However, I was still working so it would not have been a good idea to do so since my earnings would have counted to reduce SS benefits (so would kids earnings by the way although there is an amount that can be earned without resulting in a reduction. Bear in mind kid's benefits will be reduced based upon earnings of the kid or of the retired parent). Also, we were already at the family max so it didn't really gain anything to have me receive benefits even if I hadn't been working. With my son turning 18, if I wasn't working then it might make sense for me to receive benefits however my daughter will turn 16 soon and then I wouldn't be eligible anyway (I am not 62).
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Old 03-17-2012, 01:43 AM   #8
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Don't you think this oversimplified, general comment is a bit too harsh?
Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454 View Post
Can someone explain to me why folks that choose to make babies late in life should be compensated?
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:45 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
Quote:
Originally Posted by 73ss454
Can someone explain to me why folks that choose to make babies late in life should be compensated?
Don't you think this oversimplified, general comment is a bit too harsh?
How is it either over-simplified, general, or harsh?

It appears to sum up one of the conditions precisely. And I'm wondering the same thing.

What is the difference? I paid for my kids expenses before I retired, so now my portfolio (and income I can draw) is less. But I'm not compensated for that by the SSA. But I am if I have those children late in life, and didn't incur the expenses earlier ( so, all things being equal, I have a larger portfolio and larger amount to draw from now)? I don't get it.

So what is your problem with his statement?

-ERD50
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:54 AM   #10
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If grandparents adapt their grandchildren because the parents suffer a misfortune or tragedy, society could show a little compassion and help them deal with the unplanned financial burden.
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Old 03-17-2012, 08:57 AM   #11
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If grandparents adapt their grandchildren because the parents suffer a misfortune or tragedy, society could show a little compassion and help them deal with the unplanned financial burden.
That was not the situation that 73ss454 described.

I don't think it is very compassionate of you to paint 73ss454 as in-compassionate based on the remark he made.

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Old 03-17-2012, 09:02 AM   #12
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I was just pointing out that SS coverage of retired people with minor dependents is not simply a case of subsidizing people that make babies late in life.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:08 AM   #13
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I was just pointing out that SS coverage of retired people with minor dependents is not simply a case of subsidizing people that make babies late in life.
OK, but it followed the posts where the discussion was about people who 'choose to make babies late in life', and another poster calling that 'harsh' (which I tied to your 'show some compassion' statement). If you want to change the subject, maybe you should make that clearer.

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Old 03-17-2012, 09:18 AM   #14
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The discussion is about SS payments to dependent minors of retired people. Once again, I was showing one way a retired person could have a minor dependent. There are others. For example, adaption of an orphan.

Not changing the subject at all.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:22 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
How is it either over-simplified, general, or harsh?

It appears to sum up one of the conditions precisely. And I'm wondering the same thing.

What is the difference? I paid for my kids expenses before I retired, so now my portfolio (and income I can draw) is less. But I'm not compensated for that by the SSA. But I am if I have those children late in life, and didn't incur the expenses earlier ( so, all things being equal, I have a larger portfolio and larger amount to draw from now)? I don't get it.

So what is your problem with his statement?

-ERD50
I would have to agree with the argument stated by ERD50...

Color me "harsh" ...
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:35 AM   #16
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I don't think it's harsh. I think it's a reasonable question.

Person A has kids as a young adult and raises them. Kids receive no SS.
Person B has kids at an older age and raises them. Kids get SS.
Why the difference?

After an unspecified event, kids are adopted by an Uncle. Kids receive no SS.
After an unspecified event, kids are adopted by grandparents. Kids receive SS.
Why the difference?

It makes sense that on death of a parent, there would be SS benefit to minors. But I don't think you can argue that all older parents should get SS for their kids because some of them might be adoptive grandparents. If that's the case then why not similar benefits for young adults who adopt niece/nephew? Or is there a reason why they deserve no benefit simply if they are younger at the time they adopt?

It doesn't seem harsh to me to say these differences don't seem sensible.
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Old 03-17-2012, 09:56 AM   #17
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Basically I agree with the above but as a senior who has looked after grandchildren occasionally let me assure you that caring for them requires a lot more effort than it took to care for my own. I don't have an issue with extra SS for someone who takes on the responsibility of raising grandchildren after the age of 65. Often those grandparents are low income and/or have stepped in because the parents are unable.

There is a good reason why nature cuts off procreation for women at a sensible age. For the life of me I can't figure out why men were not similarly blessed.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:03 AM   #18
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Quote:
Can someone explain to me why folks that choose to make babies late in life should be compensated? IMHO these folks should take care of their own responsibilities.
I could just as easily say -- Can someone explain to me why folks that choose to get married should be compensated? IMHO these folks should take care of their own responsibilities and benefits for married folks should be no greater than benefits for people who are single. Yet, I don't see many comments that spousal benefits are unfair.

The reason minor children of a retired parent receive benefits is because it is part of what SS is designed to do. We tend to think of SS as something that is designed to provide retirement income to a retired person. This is, however, incorrect.

It is actually designed to provide replacement income to the retired person and the family of the retired person. There are limitations on this. Age limitations or care of children limitations for a spouse and age or school limitations for children (or the children must be disabled).

The SS website explains it:

Quote:
Parents play a critical role in the success of the Social Security program. The program is designed to ensure continuing income to families when a worker retires, dies or becomes disabled. ......As a working parent, you are a source of Social Security protection for your family. If either parent retires, dies or becomes disabled and unable to work, his or her earnings would be partially replaced by monthly Social Security payments.
The bottom line is that the program is designed to provide more income to a family with a spouse (i.e. spousal benefits) or a family with minor children (i.e. children's benefits) than it is designed to provide to a family with only one person (single person with no minor children).

The program could have been designed differently. It could have provided for no spousal benefits and no children's benefits. However, the idea I believe is that a family with a spouse or a family with children needs more income than a family with neither. Philosophically I don't see much difference between providing spousal benefits (marrying is also a choice) and benefits for children (in fact, it is much more likely to have a late in life "accidental" child than it is to have an accidental spouse....)
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:12 AM   #19
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My point exactly. Thank you Michael.
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The discussion is about SS payments to dependent minors of retired people. Once again, I was showing one way a retired person could have a minor dependent. There are others. For example, adaption of an orphan.

Not changing the subject at all.
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Old 03-17-2012, 10:47 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by obgyn65 View Post
Don't you think this oversimplified, general comment is a bit too harsh?
No.
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