When a grandparent retires, becomes disabled, or dies, their grandchild may qualify for benefits if certain conditions are met. Generally, the child’s natural or adoptive parents must be deceased or disabled or the grandchild must be legally adopted by the grandparent. A step-grandchild may also qualify for benefits under these conditions.

In addition, the grandchild must have begun living with the grandparent before age 18 and received at least one half of his or her support from the grandparent for the year before the month the grandparent became entitled to retirement or disability insurance benefits, or died.

If the grandchild was born during that one year period, the grandparent must have lived with and provided at least one-half of the child's support for substantially all of the period from the date of birth to the month the grandparent became entitled to benefits or died.