Can the guardian use a child’s Social security checks on the bills rather than on the other needs of the child?

UPDATED: Aug 21, 2011

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Can the guardian use a child’s Social security checks on the bills rather than on the other needs of the child?

I’m 16 and my grandmother doesn’t give me my benefits only $30. I have to buy my own things like hair products and feminine things. This school year she said she’s only spending $100 on school clothes and supplies. So I’m just wondering is this legal that I don’t get the right to my own money?

Asked on August 21, 2011 Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I can see where growing older and your changing needs can cause you the need to have additional funds for things.  The money that your Grandmother spends on "other things" is it for food and shelter and things like that?  She isn't taking trips with it or gambling it away is what I am getting at.  And no, she can not use it all for that stuff. Butmaybe your Grandmother is trying to have you learn to earn your money and spend it wisely.  I do think, though, that a $100 limit is a bit low for clothes and supplies.  What I am afraid of here is that you and your Grandmother have developed a relationship that butts heads and that maybe now you need to learn to approach her differently about the money issue.  And if you really think that she is squandering it then get help from another adult because you will have to challenge her authority as your guardian in Court. But remember that someone else will be put in her place.  Good luck.

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