SS Survivor or SS Disability Benefits for Granddaughter

I have recently gained legal custody of my 9 year old granddaughter. I am 56 and have long term disability and am in the process of gaining SS disability approval. My granddaughter's father recently passed away and I need to know if she'll be able to draw a survivor benefit from her father (does have sufficient earning qtrs) or should I look to adopt her and have her draw from my disability.


I would presume that her draw capacity would be higher through my eligibility compared to her father's. Or would my max draw capacity be reduced if she draws from me. The mother is incarcerated and I don't believe is a factor in the scenario. I would greatly appreciate your guidance.

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February 6, 20170 found this helpful

You need to make an appointment with the Social Security office. Make sure you bring proof that you are the legal guardian and the death certificate of the father. They will help you.

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February 6, 20170 found this helpful

Only ss could determine which way you need to go. However, bear in mind that if you adopt her, it can take years to go thru, even for a family adoption.

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February 8, 20170 found this helpful

Social Security will tell you which benefit you should draw from but you should apply as soon as possible as your benefit period will not begin until you complete the paper work.


You will need social security numbers for all involved and usually a death certificate for the father, as well as legal papers showing you as the legal guardian. Social Security may not be able to give you exact figures if your disability has not been finalized but should at least get something started on your granddaughters benefits.

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