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Survivor Benefits Question- 16 year old daughter- dad remarried immediately after mother's death. Stepmom does not want anything

Stepmom does not want anything to do with stepchildren. Step daughter spent all summer with deceased mother's relatives. Dad then suggests that she stays with them for the entire school year. Dad has not offered any financial assistance to the relative. What are the options although the Dad has basically relinquished his parental responsiblities, how can we ensure that he still is financially responsible?


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Sounds like there are two questions here.

The first is a family law question, "Must a non-custodial surviving parent provide, from his own assets, for surviving children?". I'm not qualified to answer that, and the answer likely will vary from state to state.

The second question, assuming the child qualifies for Social Security survivor benefits is, "Can a custodial relative serve as the representative payee for survivor benefits?".

The answer to the second question is yes.

You can file form SSA-11 to request to be listed as the representative payee for the child's benefits.

http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-11.pdf

Here is a link describing how to select a representative payee. In general, I believe the SSA tends to select as the representative payee the person who has custody of a minor.

https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200502132

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration