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Grandparents Day is September 9th

Grandparents 2018

The proportion of children living with grandparents has doubled in the U.S. since 1970. Nearly 100,000 grandparents in Illinois are living with and responsible for their own grandchildren under the age of 18.  Many grandparents become caregivers during or because of a major life crisis.  As the children’s parents struggle with substance abuse, mental illness, incarceration, economic hardship, and other challenges, these caregivers provide a vital safety net to children.  In addition to the emotional impact, these grandparents often need assistance to help navigate their way through a variety of family issues, including legal and custody, financial, and parenting skills.

The Grandparents Raising Grandchildren Program funded by AgeSmart provides education, respite, and emergency financial assistance as well as legal resources to the grandparents living in Southwestern Illinois.  Grandparents or relatives who are 55 years of age or older and caring for a child under 18 years of age are eligible for the services, regardless of income.  The services are available in Bond, Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair, and Washington Counties and provided by local community organizations.  Contact the organizations below for more information.

Children’s Home and Aid  618-235-2335
Land of Lincoln Legal Assistance Foundation  618-398-0958
AgeSmart Community Resources  618-222-2561

5 Facts About Social Security from ssa.gov

5 Facts You Might Not Know About Social Security

Most people know at least something about Social Security. For decades, Social Security has been providing valuable information and tools to help you build financial security. Here’s your opportunity to find out a little more, with some lesser-known facts about Social Security.

1. Social Security pays benefits to children.

Social Security pays benefits to unmarried children whose parents are deceased, disabled, or retired. See Benefits for Children for the specific requirements.

2. Social Security can pay benefits to parents.

Most people know that when a worker dies, we can pay benefits to surviving spouses and children. What you may not know is that under certain circumstances, we can pay benefits to a surviving parent. Read our Fact Sheet Parent’s Benefits, for the details.

3. Widows’ and widowers’ payments can continue if remarriage occurs after age 60.

Remarriage ends survivor’s benefits when it occurs before age 60, but benefits can continue for marriages after age 60.

4. If a spouse draws reduced retirement benefits before starting spouse’s benefits (his or her spouse is younger), the spouse will not receive 50 percent of the worker’s benefit amount.

Your full spouse’s benefit could be up to 50 percent of your spouse’s full retirement age amount if you are full retirement age when you take it. If you qualify for your own retirement benefit and a spouse’s benefit, we always pay your own benefit first. (For example, you are eligible for $400 from your own retirement and $150 as a spouse for a total of $550.) The reduction rates for retirement and spouses benefits are different. If your spouse is younger, you cannot receive benefits unless he or she is receiving benefits (except for divorced spouses). If you took your reduced retirement first while waiting for your spouse to reach retirement age, when you add spouse’s benefits later, your own retirement portion remains reduced which causes the total retirement and spouses benefit together to total less than 50 percent of the worker’s amount. You can find out more on our website.

5. If your spouse’s retirement benefit is higher than your retirement benefit, and he or she chooses to take reduced benefits and dies first, your survivor benefit will be reduced, but may be higher than what your spouse received.

If the deceased worker started receiving reduced retirement benefits before their full retirement age, a special rule called the retirement insurance benefit limit may apply to the surviving spouse. The retirement insurance benefit limit is the maximum survivor benefit you may receive. Generally, the limit is the higher of:

  • The reduced monthly retirement benefit to which the deceased spouse would have been entitled if they had lived, or
  • 82.5 percent of the unreduced deceased spouse’s monthly benefit if they had started receiving benefits at their full retirement age (rather than choosing to receive a reduced retirement benefit early).

Social Security helps secure your financial future by providing the facts you need to make life’s important decisions.

This information is from the Social Security website at https://blog.ssa.gov/5-facts-you-might-not-know-about-social-security/