Receiving Social Security Survivor Benefits?

My pawpaw raised me and adopted me in 2016; he passed away 2016. The survivor's benefit Social Security check goes to my stepmom. I'm 17 now and in high school, the 11 grade. I make good grades and I work full time because my stepmom does not get me clothes, snacks, car, car insurance, and gas. The only thing she does is pay rent on the house, lights, and food, but I have got to get cakes or candy with my working check. I'm having trouble keeping up with school and a full time job to make ends meet. She has nothing saved for me.

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I read I can get it put in my name now, but what kind of proof do I need to show you? Because she is smart and I want to make sure I have exactly what I need or if I don't they will be mean to me at home with me reporting this so I want everything I need. What proof do you need?

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October 15, 20190 found this helpful

It seems to me that your stepmother is using this check to provide necessities for you. The things you have mentioned are all extras. She is doing what she is supposed to do.

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October 16, 20190 found this helpful

You can use a birth certificate or a passport.

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October 16, 20190 found this helpful

If this is the way you want to go you should make an appointment and go to the SSN office. Talk with a person there to see what you need to do. Just keep in mind if your stepmom is paying the rent with the check she receives she might make you pay part of the rent if you put the check in your name. Maybe there is a way to work with her and ask her to give you part of this money to help you out each month.

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I know it is hard to work and go to school. Your stepmom is doing what she can to keep a roof over your head and it is not that easy on her too since her husbaand died. You should really work with her and if this isn't possible you should make an appointment with SSN and talk with them about what you can do.

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October 19, 20190 found this helpful

If the SSA passed the benefits to her name after your grandfather died then she is considered your legal guardian and the check should go to her as long as you are living in her house. She should be providing shelter, food, clothing, medical and some incidental items (personal items) with that money.
She does not in any way have to provide car expenses or car insurance or gas with that money. If seems these are the things you are working to pay for and that is your choice but not her responsibility from money out of the benefit check.

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The benefit is not actually your check but it is provided to help pay for your living expenses until you graduate from high school and will be paid until you graduate or reach the age of 19 plus 2 months as long as you are going to high school full time.

SS can answer your questions fully but I do not believe they will place the benefit check in your name unless you are living apart from your stepmom such as have your own apartment or renting space somewhere else and paying all of your own expenses.

You should go to SSA and tell them what you state here so they can tell you what you need to do. The SSA can send forms to your stepmother to complete that she will have to provide information as to how she is spending this benefit check.

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October 21, 20190 found this helpful

You have my sympathy on the loss of your pawpaw. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate, losing someone you love, being raised by your stepmother, going to school, and working. That is a lot for a 17 year old....for anyone actually.

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Do you have a guidance counselor or trusted teacher from school or an aunt or uncle or some adult you can talk to, to help you figure things out with work/school/home life balance. I think that is critical for your own health to do that!!

Explain to that person what you have said to us here and with that person, contact the Social Security office at (800) 772-1213 to help you understand the check, who gets it, why they get it, and if changes can be made.

As cybergrannie stated, the money is designed to help your guardian pay for your living expenses. The government did not intend it to be for incidentals...but for necessities like a place to live and food.

Perhaps the person you talk to can help you and your step mom come to an agreement and develop a budget to help you, so maybe you can either stop or reduce your work hours until you graduate. I worked all throughout my schooling, but it was small jobs in the summer and weekend evenings, so it did not take away from my schooling and I had a very strict budget so I could save some, donate some, spend some. It worked for me.

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Prayers for solutions for you! Post back with updates!

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