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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

When is a child dependent upon a grandparent or step-grandparent?

336. When is a child dependent upon a grandparent or step-grandparent?

To be dependent on the worker, a grandchild (or step-grandchild) must have:

  1. Begun living with the worker before the grandchild became 18 years old; and

  2. Lived with the worker in the U.S. and received at least one-half support from the worker:

    1. For the year before the month the worker became entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits or died; or

    2. If the worker had a period of disability that lasted until he or she became entitled to benefits or died, for the year immediately before the month in which the period of disability began.

If the grandchild was born during the one-year period, the worker must have lived with and provided at least one-half of the grandchild's support for substantially all of the period from the date of the grandchild's birth to the month indicated in (B) above.

Last Revised: Feb. 6, 2003

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