+ Reply to Thread
Results 1 to 8 of 8
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2010

    Step Children and SSD

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)? Maryland.

    My husband and I have been married for 10 yrs. After the first year of marriage and the birth of our daughter, we went to social security to add her and myself. I also have twin daughters that are from a previous relationship. At the time of adding my daughter and myself, I asked if step children could receive benefits and was told no by the representative. That was in 2000.

    After reading on the internet that step children qualify I asked Social Security again about my daughters and the answer was no. This was in 2004 when my other daughter was born.

    Just recently (May 2010) my husband and I went to the local social security to fix a payee problem and again asked about step children and was told no they do not receive benefits. I then told the woman what I read on the computer and she told me that she has been doing her job for a long time and she knows what she is doing. Arrogant, to say the least.

    I just recently applied for my daughter (who is not my husbands) for SS for her mental illness and was told that she may be able to receive benefits, but they would deduct what she was receiving from my husbands benefits. Meaning whatever she received was be minus the money she was receiving off of my husbands benefits. Puzzled I asked the representative what she meant and she informed me that my children should have been receiving benefits for the last 9 yrs!!

    I even told her that I was constantly told no and she said that the info was wrong. So my question is, once I add them am I out of luck for any back pay money? Or do I just add them and forget what I was told for the last 9 1/2 years? I have been told many different things from friends and family, like get a lawyer, but I don't know what to do. Incidentally I went back to the local office, the same where I was told no and by a different worker, who looked right on the computer, and was told yes they do qualify and was given an appointment to add them.

    So ultimately my question is, "Do I contact a lawyer?" or just let it go?

    Thank you.

    Last edited by SoniaR; 07-12-2010 at 05:36 PM.
  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    The 5th Dimension
    Quote Originally Posted by SoniaR View Post
    So ultimatly my question is, "Do I contact a lawyer?" or just let it go?
    Hello Sonar,

    Fairness lies in the toss of a coin. Apply accordingly.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Thanks, but that is kind of where I am stuck at, hence the get a lawyer or let it go. Besides I usually use rock,paper,scissors anyhow. Getting angry will never help.

  4. #4

    You also have to prove that the step-children were dependent upon your husband in order for them to qualify. The link above explains when and how dependency has to be proven. If they were getting child support or public assistance or living with their father when he became disabled, they were probably not dependent upon him.

    Once there are two children on the record, it is possible for others to be added, but the family maximum will be divided by 3 or 4 rather than by 2. The total amount paid to the children does not change; each child gets less. Since you have been receiving for two children since 2004, the family maximum has been fully paid and even IF there could be retroactive entitlement for the step-children, there is nothing to pay them, at least since 2004.

    Is there anything in writing, like in your husband's initial claim, in which the step-children are mentioned? Did you ever file a formal claim and get an official denial? Or was everything verbal?

    I am guessing there would be no retroactivity and possibly even no step-child benefits because it may be hard to establish that he was providing her support. But the ONLY way to get an official answer that gives appeal rights is for you to file a claim and provide all the documents.

    Is this new claim for your mentally ill daughter an SSI claim? SSI requires that she file for any benefits she may potentially be eligible to receive so SSI would require an official answer on the question of benefits as a step-child. The original answers you were given verbally may be correct. Or not.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Thank you for your reply. My daughters (husbands step children) were living with me and then with my husband and I. He provides for all of their support. He was receiving his benefits before I met him so he couldn't have mentioned them in the intial claim, which would have been nice! When I spoke to the representative on the phone, she was initally shocked that they were not receiving benefits and said we should be receiving around 300 dollars more a month. Unfortunately, I never filed a claim for the step children because I was told they did not give benefits to step children.

    When I went to the local office, the representative that I spoke with said that they did not give benefits to step children in front of everyone. It's just so confusing when you have the people that you would think would know what is and what isn't, be so completely clueless.

    It's not until I did some digging of my own did I find any info. Yes, my daughters claim is a new one, and when I finished the disability claim online I had to call for an appointment and that's when the representative told me on the phone that if she were to be approved that they would pay her and deduct whatever she was getting on her stepfathers benefit and she would be given the rest. That is when I told the woman exactly what I said in the first post.

    So that is where I am at now. I go in this Wednesday to add the step children and finish my daughters application. The representative told me that all I would need was their birth certificates and a couple other things and that it would be straightened out.

  6. #6
    He provides all their support? When you met him you had no income and you still have no income? They get zero from the absent parent and have always gotten zero? That is possible, but it seems a little odd that you wouldn't be providing some of the monetary support at some point. Whether or not that equates to him providing more than half, and at what point, I can't say.

    Still, the family maximum has been paid to the other children. If a new child or children were added to the record, the family maximum would be divided among all of them. The family doesn't get more, each child gets less. Think of it as a pie. The pie doesn't get bigger when more people want a piece. Everyone gets a smaller piece. The only way she could get retroactive benefits would be for the other children to pay back her share of the family max (pie). The net result to your family is zero. And, if you didn't file a claim, it is unlikely there are any rights to benefits. Filing a claim is all important. Asking a question and getting a verbal answer is not the same thing.

    So it sounds like the other child has an SSI claim (a low income program) pending. You haven't said if she is over or under 18. If she is under 18, the entire family income will be used in deciding whether or not she is low income as well as whether or not she is disabled. If she is over 18, the only income that matters is what belongs to her. Sometimes severely disabled minor children don't qualify for SSI benefits because the parents have too much in income or assets.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    I had no income because I lived with my parents and was only 16 at the time they were born. So yes it is totally possible. I met him when my girls were 1 1/2 and we have been together ever since. Nope, birth father said he didnt want them. So bascially I have been with my husband. I did work off and on and until recently, until I had to take care of my father who was dying of lung cancer. The job market right now is slim. I see what you are saying and I am just going to take it as it is. The girls are 14 so she is under 18.

    Thank you again.

  8. #8
    when you provide the details, it makes more sense. Now at least you may be prepared for what SSA may ask you.

+ Reply to Thread

Similar Threads

  1. Step children
    By 6xmommy in forum Child Custody & Visitation
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 12-21-2009, 09:24 PM
  2. Step-Parents wanting to Adopt step-children
    By LilCountry in forum Adoption
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 07-20-2008, 03:55 AM
  3. Step Children
    By TLA in forum Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 01-16-2006, 11:33 AM
  4. Step Children
    By saara in forum Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 11-08-2005, 08:34 AM
  5. Children and Step Children
    By Ctone in forum Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 01-16-2003, 04:29 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts

© Since 1995 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.