Monday, October 4, 2010

Common Law Marriage & Disabled Adult Grandchild- Two Questions

Ronald from Texas

I have two or three items that I need answers 1)my mother wants to know if she qualifies for spouse benefits she was common law married for almost 11 years. 2)my mother is taking care of her grandaughter for almost 33 years,she is completely handicapped.Is she eligable for benefits and care benefits.

ANSWER: Ok Ronald, here you go with two answers.

1- Social Security law uses state law to determine whether a person is married. Texas does recognize such marriages. Since your mother is married for more than one year, she may be eligible.

2- Social Security provides benefits for disabled adult children on their parents' accounts in the event of a parent's entitlement to retirement or disability benefits, if if the parent dies. A grandchild can receive on the grandparents' account only if the parents are deceased or totally disabled at the time the grandparent dies or becomes eligible, and must be dependent on the grandparent. The disabled grandaughter may be eligible for SSI payments, which is a federal welfare program based on need, provided the child's income and assets are below certain levels. This program is administered by the Social Security Administration. I would suggest that your mother file an application on behalf of the grandaughter with Social Security as soon as possible.

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