Uncle Sam is running a sugar daddy escort service.
It’s not based in Nevada, and it’s not a secret perk for congressmen. This benefit is available to everybody who collects Social Security. It’s a garden of delights for older men who want to fool around with younger women, and for younger women who want to have children and a monthly check to support them.
Here’s how it works: When a retired person is the parent of a minor child, the Social Security Administration will send that child a monthly check equal to 50 percent of the retired parent’s full Social Security benefit. So if the parent’s full benefit is $2,000 per month, the child would receive a check for $1,000. Every month.
Even if the parent has retired early and is receiving a lower benefit payment, the child receives 50 percent of the parent’s full retirement age benefit.
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To have the best of both worlds, the parent can use a maneuver called “file and suspend.” He can retire at 62, sign the kid up for Social Security, then suspend his retirement and return to work until he’s old enough to receive the full benefit himself.
Retired women are not excluded from Uncle Sam’s family plan. The benefit also applies to adopted children and stepchildren. A woman collecting Social Security who adopts minor children or marries someone with minor children can sign those kids up for checks equal to 50 percent of her full Social Security benefit.
Generally, a family can receive at least 150 percent of the retired parent’s benefit. When there are two or more minor children, the available amount under the cap is split between them, but the parent’s benefit is never reduced.
There’s no requirement to be married. In fact, a retired parent can be married to someone else and still get the new family signed up for benefits. But there’s a bonus for being married – spouses of any age who are caregivers for the minor child of a retiree can collect Social Security benefits equal to half the retiree’s full benefit, subject to the family maximum, until the child is 16.
The kids themselves can collect until they’re 18, or 19 if still in high school.
There’s no income test for this benefit. If Donald Trump wanted to retire, he could sign up his wife and 9-year-old son and they’d start receiving monthly checks from the Social Security Administration immediately.
Maybe, years ago, lawmakers intended to help secure the future of children who were likely to lose their fathers before they graduated high school. Maybe they thought relatively few families would need or claim the benefit.
And then, Viagra.
And then, Viagra covered by Obamacare.
And then, same-sex marriage.
In America today, over 92 million people of working age have left the workforce. You can choose to believe they’re all independently wealthy and pursuing their dreams of becoming street musicians, or you can deduce that a lot of people are hurting financially and desperate to find a way to pay their bills.
Uncle Sam’s sugar daddy escort service offers a fun new way to receive a steady stream of cash, legally and without guilt. Simply find your perfect match – a young person with kids or wanting them, or a senior on Social Security – and arrange for a romantic evening. The U.S. government will take care of the rest.
Oh, by the way, there will be no cost-of-living raise in Social Security benefits next year, and Medicare premiums are going up.
Uncle Sam isn’t made of money, you know.
Susan Shelley is a columnist for the Los Angeles Daily News. Write to her at firstname.lastname@example.org.