Q. How can my children get all their back pay from social security when mother and father income was combined? Hers started in 1997, his in 2000. There are seven children involved.

A. The best way to assure yourself that your children have received all the benefits they deserve is to request a conference with your local office. Ahead of the conference ask that the office prepare a side-by-side comparison of Benefits Paid and Benefits That Should Have Been Paid for all months the children have been entitled to a benefit. By reviewing the side-by-side you can verify whether all benefits have been paid and, if not, request that the underpayment be corrected.

Effective the month the second parent became entitled to a Social Security benefit, the children’s benefits should have been determined by the combined family maximums of both parents. You do not say what type of benefit either parent receives, but you should know that Disability Insurance does not always provide a dependent child benefit and the Disability insurance family maximum benefit is no more than 50 percent of the wage earner’s benefit.