Social Security family benefits

Rob: I am retired, 63 years old, and elected to start receiving Social Security at 62 because I have a 16-year-old child, and can claim a child benefit for her. My question is, if I were to work for money again, I know that my Social Security benefit would be reduced. But would my child’s benefit also stop or be reduced as well?

Phil Moeller: Yes, it would. Here is what an agency spokesperson says about this issue:

“Social Security withholds the excess earnings of the worker from the total family benefit. Therefore, suspensions or deductions apply to both the worker and the child until the excess is charged or, if the excess amount is greater than the total family benefit for the year, the entire year. The total family benefit includes all monthly benefits payable to the worker and the child on the worker’s record.”

Normally, reductions from more than one benefit on a worker’s record are taken proportionately. You should call the agency to determine the specific impacts in your situation. You can find out the terms of Social Security’s earnings test here.