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Benefits for Grandchildren
More and more parents are finding themselves raising grandchildren. Social Security will pay benefits to grandchildren if benefits are not payable on the work record of a parent.
If a child is not receiving benefits from a parent when the grandparent retires, becomes disabled, or dies, the grandchild may then be able to qualify for benefits if certain conditions are met. Generally, the biological parents of the child must be deceased or disabled, or the grandchild must be legally adopted by the grandparent.
In addition, the grandchild must have begun living with the grandparent before age 18 and received at least one half of his or her support from the grandparent for the year before the month the grandparent became entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits, or died. Also, the natural parent(s) of the child must not be making regular contributions to his or her support.
If the grandchild was born during the one-year period, the grandparent must have lived with and provided at least one-half of the child's support for substantially all of the period from the date of birth to the month the grandparent became entitled to benefits.
The grandchild may qualify for benefits under these circumstances, even if he or she is a step-grandchild. However, if the grandparents are already receiving benefits, they would need to adopt the child for it to qualify for benefits.
Social Security has a toll-free number that operates from 7a.m. to 7p.m., on Monday through Friday: 1-800-772-1213. If you have a touch-tone phone, recorded information and services are available 24 hours a day, including weekends and holidays. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free "TTY" number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday. Please have your Social Security number handy when you call us.|
Or visit your local Social Security office.
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Last reviewed or modified Wednesday Apr 01, 2009