Will I get more money if I collect off of my adult disabled child’s benefits?

Published: August 1, 2022

Full question: So I’m 59 and I care for my deceased former spouse’s adult disabled child, would I get more money if I collect off his benefits when I turn 60 or does it not matter? He never remarried so my son only collects off of his father’s benefits, but he is living with me.


You may be eligible for a spousal-in-care survivor benefit before age 60 and/or a survivor benefit beginning at age 60, but at a reduced rate.

You must have been married to your former spouse for 10 or more years and not remarried (before age 60).

Other factors to consider are if you qualify for a retirement benefit based on your own earnings, if your former spouse was collecting benefits when he passed, and if so, when he started collecting.

Survivor benefits, especially when an adult disabled child is involved, are even more complicated than retirement and spousal benefits. Survivor benefit amounts depend on if and when the deceased began collecting Social Security benefits and when the survivor begins collecting the benefits. You may want to consult with our RSSA team for more individualized support.

All the best,

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