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Are grandchildren eligible for Social Security benefits?

Cancer patient was granted court order for guardianship.

DEAR HARRY: My daughter-in-law has been diagnosed with stage-4 cancer of the right frontal lobe of her brain.

She has been granted Social Security Disability payments, and her first check just arrived. A while ago, she was granted a court order for guardianship of her grandchildren, ages 16 and 12.

Their mother is not in the picture. Are my daughter-in-law's grandchildren eligible to receive SS benefits? That family cannot get along on the meager income they now have, and I have limited funds to help.

WHAT HARRY SAYS: I'm so very sorry to hear of her diagnosis. You should consider now whom you would like to succeed her as guardian for those youngsters. It likely will require another court appearance.

For the grandchildren to be eligible for SS benefits, certain criteria must be met. They must be unmarried, and not yet 19. That age goes to 20 if they are still in high school. It appears to me that both youngsters are eligible. Don't delay in filing.

And keep in mind that you always can get competent help at your local SS office.

Can other family members help a little?