Sep 14, 2011

Quiz Answer

     Question: Mr. C starts work after graduating from high school at age 18. He has regular, substantial earnings until he becomes a quadriplegic as a result of a car accident when he is 21. He goes to live with his healthy 59 year old mother who has no other children and who is not working. She was married to Mr. C's father who is now deceased. She has not remarried. Mr. C files claims for disability insurance benefits (DIB) and disabled adult child (DAC) benefits on the account of his late father. Both claims are approved. He receives only DIB since it is higher than the DAC. What Social Security benefits, if any, can the mother be paid, assuming she applies for them?
  • Wife's benefits
  • Mother's benefits
  • Widow's benefits
  • Aid and Attendance Benefits
  • None
    Answer: Mother's benefits. Wife's benefits are not available since her husband is deceased. She is too young anyway.  She is too young for widow's benefits unless she is disabled and she is not. There is no Social Security "Aid and Attendance" benefit, although there is a VA benefit by this name. Even though no DAC benefits are being paid to Mr. C, he is technically entitled to DAC.  Since he is technically entitled to DAC, his mother has a child of the decedent in her care, making her eligible for mother's benefits. Although mother's benefits are normally available only until the youngest child turns 16, there is no such limit if the child is disabled.
     If you are wondering, this was a real case that I had. I dealt with people at the field office and payment center who were initially skeptical but also intrigued. They all eventually agreed that the woman in question was clearly eligible for mother's benefits. If you are familiar with the concept of technical entitlement, which Social Security unquestionably accepts, I think you have to come to the same conclusion.


Anonymous said...

MOTHER'S benefits for a 21 year old "child"? Here is a regulation that clearly needs revisited!!

Anonymous said...

The important issue here is not simply that the beneficiary is disabled. The important issue here is that the beneficiary is a quadriplegic and must depend on his mother to do things for him that he would normally be able to do for himself. The mother only qualifies for mother's benefits because she is performing personal services. See Program Operations Manual System RS 01310.040.

Anonymous said...

If the field office and payment center employees were "skeptical" to the mother being entitled to benefits based on her son's technical entitlement to DAC benefits, they all need to go back to training since they don't sound like they know what they are doing.