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rainymike

Social Security Benefits for Dependents

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rainymike

Haven't posted anything for a while, been a bit busy with some life changes like marriage and another kid. But I was made aware of some new SS information from some Singapore contacts and am sharing. This applies to a US retiree with dependent children and spouse and is different from regular spousal benefits.

Dependents of retirees collecting SS may receive benefits for their dependents (up to some calculated family maximum - about 150%-180% of the retiree's benefit). In my case, I had one child who received a percentage of my SS benefit. Now I have two kids - and the two will split a readjusted percentage of what I receive. The result will probably be a smaller amount for each child, but a larger amount for the total payout to the dependents. Now, the real interesting thing that I've just learned is that my foreign wife may also be eligible to receive benefits for caring for the dependents. She is not retirement age and has never been outside of the Philippines.  If this really works out to be true, the three will split the amount allowed. This decreases the monthly benefit for all three, but the total payout should be slightly larger than for the two kids alone.

Lately, I am seeing a lot more retiree westerner types down here in Davao. So this is just a heads up if you find yourself married and becoming a daddy like me. SS can have a positive impact on your family's retirement income. I'm saving all my girls' money in accounts for them and only using it to pay tuition and related expenses at a high end private school.

I am not an expert on this. And the rules are complicated. You will have to dig up more info if you want to find out about adopted kids, etc. And I haven't actually applied for the benefits for my wife and second daughter yet.

For a start in your own research, look here:  https://www.elderlawanswers.com/social-security-benefits-for-spouses-and-children-12503

This may be old news for you, but hearing about spousal benefits for dependent care was really news to me. If your wife is receiving this benefit, would you kindly confirm this?

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Lordblacknail

You are right, your wife will get benefits for taking care of the children, as long as she has a social security number. Might have to be a US citizen, not sure on that.

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smokey

My wife will apply at 62 but was told only us citz can receive this extra as a greencard holder she can only collect under her own acct

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Headshot
10 minutes ago, smokey said:

My wife will apply at 62 but was told only us citz can receive this extra as a greencard holder she can only collect under her own acct

So when will she get her citizenship?

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enoonmai

My wife is collecting SS "caretaker" benefits for our dependent child. She is green card holder, not US citz (yet - 1 more year). The requirement is you have to have SS# which requires you to be US citizen or legally authorized to work in US

The benefit amount is based upon a % of your full retirement amount, not affected if you started collecting early (as I did).  Their benefit has no effect on your retirement benefit. The caretaker can collect until the child is 16, the dependent child can collect till he's 18 unless he is still in high school, than till 19 I believe.

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smokey
Posted (edited)
10 hours ago, Headshot said:

So when will she get her citizenship?

Doing it now takes about 8 months she is 59 years old been in the us over the required time.  My wife will collect based on her age i think at 62 she can get 33%

Edited by smokey

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Taz

It used to be that the foreign spouse had to have lived in the U.S. for a period of five years or more to qualify for any benefits.

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Salty Dog
5 hours ago, Taz said:

It used to be that the foreign spouse had to have lived in the U.S. for a period of five years or more to qualify for any benefits.

Still is, unless they become a citizen which they can apply for after living in the USA for 3 years.

There is a difference in a wife collecting Social Security as a spouse or as a caretaker for a child receiving social security.

A wife (not a caretaker) has to be at least 62 to collect, unless the husband is dead. Then she can collect at 60.

There are additional rules if she is disabled which could allow her to collect earlier.

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rainymike

Thanks gents. I figured that if a foreign non-citizen spouse could receive SS "dependent" benefits, one of you would have figured it out and done so by now. Doesn't look like the case though. Suggestions that an SSN and citizenship are requirements are probably right. Will be able to update when we go to Manila in a month or two when we go to Manila.

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Salty Dog
2 hours ago, rainymike said:

Thanks gents. I figured that if a foreign non-citizen spouse could receive SS "dependent" benefits, one of you would have figured it out and done so by now. Doesn't look like the case though. Suggestions that an SSN and citizenship are requirements are probably right. Will be able to update when we go to Manila in a month or two when we go to Manila.

Sorry Mike. Glad to have you back though. We missed you.

Married!! Seems I remember you saying "never, not me." :biggrin_01:

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smokey

I heard no one can receive ss bennies unless they are earned or the receiver is a us citz.   Maybe i am wrong if so its not the first time

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Salty Dog
On 8/4/2018 at 8:34 AM, enoonmai said:

My wife is collecting SS "caretaker" benefits for our dependent child. She is green card holder, not US citz (yet - 1 more year). The requirement is you have to have SS# which requires you to be US citizen or legally authorized to work in US

The benefit amount is based upon a % of your full retirement amount, not affected if you started collecting early (as I did).  Their benefit has no effect on your retirement benefit. The caretaker can collect until the child is 16, the dependent child can collect till he's 18 unless he is still in high school, than till 19 I believe.

Maybe it's just a difference in terms being used here, but I thought caretaker benefits were paid to a person who is taking care of a disabled person who is receiving disability benefits. Is this your situation?

4 hours ago, smokey said:

I heard no one can receive ss bennies unless they are earned or the receiver is a us citz.   Maybe i am wrong if so its not the first time

Non-citizens (people with green cards) can collect survivors Social Security, even though they never paid into Social Security themselves.

There are Filipinas collecting Social Security who no longer even have a green card, because they have returned to the Philippines permanently. This is where the often referred to 5 year rule comes into play.

Unfortunately, many Filipina wives will never receive spousal Social Security (received while you are still alive), because many of us will be long gone by the time our wives reach 62. They may however be able to receive survivors benefits once you're dead and they've reached the age of 60.

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rainymike
19 hours ago, Salty Dog said:

Sorry Mike. Glad to have you back though. We missed you.

Married!! Seems I remember you saying "never, not me." :biggrin_01:

I still think marriage is a useless construct. But what I think and what my kids have to deal with in school convinced me that it was time to swallow my pride and do what's best for them.

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enoonmai
4 hours ago, Salty Dog said:

Maybe it's just a difference in terms being used here, but I thought caretaker benefits were paid to a person who is taking care of a disabled person who is receiving disability benefits. Is this your situation?

No. "Caretaker" is the wrong word, the spouse can receive a benefit if she is caring for a dependent child who is also receiving a benefit. Age or nationality of spouse doesn't matter but the spouse must have a SS #. The dependents can receive a % of the full retiree benefit and I heard it increases when the retiree dies but I haven't tested that yet.

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smokey

So if your and old fart like many of us and collect sss then hook up with a younger wife and have a baby ss will pay the baby plus the mom? USA is the best country in the world

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