Does the family maximum benefit apply to child-in-care benefits?

Published: May 3, 2023

Full question: My ex spouse passed away. We were married over 10 years ,5 kids 4 disabled. The kids get survivors benefits. the SSA office states I qualify for benefits but I can’t get them because it’s at the max benefits and we stay together! ( of course we do, they are minors!) I thought I was supposed to receive in child care benefits. SSA says yes but no due to the max cap.

Hi there,

Yes, you are eligible for survivor benefits, either as a child-in-care surviving spouse (younger than age 62) or survivor benefits if over age 62.

However, the family maximum benefit does apply to the total amount that you and your minor/disabled children can receive.

It is sometimes advantageous for the surviving spouse to allocate the total FMB amount to the children due to income tax concerns or if you are still working and subject to the earnings test.

You have many variables that we may not know about, so it is best to seek out an RSSA to help you with this. If you need more personalized assistance, please reach out to us at to schedule a consultation.

Best of luck,

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