Even if you are divorced and your son or daughter gets Supplemental Security Income (SSI) from the Social Security Administration (SSA), that child can get a benefit from his or her father or mother retiring, even if the child, as in a divorce, does not live with the retiring parent.
Now, the child’s SSI will end, but that is fine. It also means that child at any age can then earn as much as he or she is capable of earning after age 18 or 21. This is actually a good thing as no more reporting of income must be done by a custodial parent to SSA. If you, as a custodial parent, find out your ex-husband or ex-wife has retired, and your child with a disability is with you, run, do not walk to the nearest SSA office and file for these retirement benefits for the child in your care and custody who gets SSI.
You may need to call first to get an appointment. In that case, SSA will send you a letter as the child’s Representative Payee telling you the date and time of the appointment. Your child can come with you, of course, but that may not be necessary. Now, it does not mean the child gets more from SSA. However, it also means the child may get more. You will not know until you go in. There is no on-line form to file for such benefits. You must go in person to your nearest SSA Office. You definitely will need the Social Security number of the non-custodial parent, too, as well as, of course, your own Social Security number plus that of the child or children involved if more than one child in your care whose parent is retiring gets SSI. All this is a good thing and works out for the better all around. You will not know until you try.