Social Security Survivors’ Benefits and Supplemental Security Income Benefits

Social Security survivors’ benefits are available for children whose parents are deceased or disabled. Supplemental Security Income is a program administered by the Social Security Administration that provides financial benefits to disabled individuals who do not qualify for Social Security Disability benefits. When children in DHS custody are placed in a kinship resource, the kinship parent should apply through the Social Security Administration to become the payee to receive the benefits. If children are placed in a traditional resource, the resource parent with whom the children have been placed at least nine months may apply to be the payee to receive these benefits. The resource parent must contact the Resource Specialist to discuss the plan to become the child’s payee, as care should be taken to prevent an overpayment due to a resource parent receiving both the monthly maintenance payment and the Social Security benefits.

A resource parent is not eligible to receive the Social Security benefits in addition to the monthly maintenance payment. If the Social Security benefits are greater than the monthly maintenance payment, the resource parent is eligible to receive the full Social Security benefit amount. If the Social Security benefits are less than the monthly maintenance payment, the resource parent is eligible to receive the Social Security benefits and the remainder of the monthly maintenance payment that would be equal to the full monthly amount.

When a child receiving Social Security benefits no longer resides in the resource home, the resource parent is responsible for notifying the Social Security Administration immediately to advise that the child no longer resides in the home.

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