I live in Virginia with my long term boyfriend and our 1 year old daughter. Neither of us are crazy about marriage, completely committed but not fans of a legal marriage. My bf married his ex wife because she got pregnant and not even a year into the marriage it ended badly and they got divorced. Now he has a daughter with her and with me (we got together after the divorce of course). My question is; if we have never been married and something were to happen to my bf, would my daughter still receive benefits or would his other daughter from his marriage receive them all. Both of us have discussed this and if marriage affects benefits that much we are willing to make it official to make sure both his older daughter and our daughter are taken care of.
1 Answer from Attorneys
For purposes of a child's eligibility for survivor's benefits derived from
an alleged parent's Social Security earnings history, the rule governing this issue apparently is that the paternity of the subject child must be sufficiently
established such that the child would be eligible to inherit from this parent under
the Commonwealth's statutes which govern inheritance in situations where there
is no will (intestate succession).
Legal translation: If your boyfriend has not at least executed a valid acknowledgement of paternity naming him as the father of your daughter, she would apparently not be be eligible to receive survivor's benefits based upon his Social Security earnings history.