Can my nonbiological dad leave his ss to his grandson?(my son)?

2 answers | Last updated: Sep 14, 2016
A fellow caregiver asked...

My dad has terminal brain cancer. I am his only child but he is not my biological dad. He is the only dad I've known and the only grandfather my son has known. Can he leave his ss to my son?

Expert Answers

The first part of your question has to do with the biological relationship between you and your father, and how that could affect Social Security benefits. Your or your son's right to Social Security benefits under your non-biological father's work record -- if you or your son were eligible for them -- would depend on your father having legally adopted either you or your son. If he legally adopted either one of you, then that adoption would make you or your son eligible for benefits through your father just as if he had been your biological parent.

Unfortunately, even if you were legally adopted by your father, a person cannot decide whom to "leave" Social Security benefits to. The Social Security system provides for what are called Survivors Benefits, which can be awarded to certain surviving family members of a deceased person who had qualified for Social Security Retirement benefits. However, the Social Security laws only permit these Survivors Benefits to be paid to a surviving spouse, minor child or, in some cases, a surviving parent. There is no provision for Survivors Benefits to be paid to a grandchild (unless adopted by the grandparent as the grandparent's child).

Community Answers

Dusted answered...

In the CFR , It does mention a disabled grand child, if disabled before age 22 . And being dependent of the grand father , Why is this ignored?