Chapter : How Much Will You Receive In Survivor Benefits
After the passing of the worker, Social Security pays a one-time death benefit of $255 which can be collected by the widow or child.
Then there is the monthly Social Security survivor benefit. That benefit is based on the Social Security benefit the worker was receiving .
The benefit can be up to 100% of what your spouse would have received at full retirement. If the benefit you would receive as a survivor is higher than the benefit you receive on your own, Social Security will pay you the higher of the two amounts, not the two combined. However, survivor benefits, unlike spousal benefits, dont have to be claimed at the same time as your own retirement benefits. You can, in many cases, receive one benefit for a time and then file for the other one later. This is a common strategy for widows to take to maximize their benefits.
Did you Know?
The earliest a widow or widower can apply for survivor benefits is age 60 .
How Do You Apply For Survivor Benefits
Because individual circumstances can vary widely, it is not possible to apply for survivor benefits online. However, you can apply over the phone or by appointment at your local Social Security office. Current requirements and contact information are always available on the Social Security Administration website.
Applying for survivor benefits may require you to submit specific documents, such as a death certificate, marriage certificate, proof of citizenship, or a divorce decree, so rounding them up beforehand will help expedite the process.
Help For Grieving Spouses Of Disability Recipients
When health problems made it impossible for your spouse to work, the Social Security Disability benefits he or she received were a lifeline for you and your family.
Now that your spouse is deceased, not only are you dealing with grief, youre worried about how to pay the bills each month.
This could be a source of crucial financial relief: Social Security Disability survivors benefits.
These special benefits are available to the widow or widower of a deceased worker who received monthly Social Security Disability benefits.
But the death of a spouse turns your world upside down, so applying for survivors benefits might seem overwhelming.
At Pilzer Klein, a disability law firm serving people in Greenville and across South Carolina, we take time to understand your concerns. Our attorneys will answer your questions and evaluate your case at no charge.
Contact Our Ssd Lawyer In Scranton
We understand that the intricacies of Social Security Disability benefits following the death of your spouse are complicated. Its essential to turn to our SSD lawyer near Scranton for assistance and guidance during this time. Take advantage of our free case evaluations by calling us toll-free at 800-889-6101 to get started.
*Or was receiving benefits in his or her account or became eligible upon his or her death
Talk To A Disability Lawyer
Need a lawyer? Start here.
Also Check: How To Change Va Disability Direct Deposit
Can I Get Social Security And Va Widow’s Benefits
Hello, i was getting widows pension from the VA on my late husband. He was in Military for over 18 years and was on Disability before his death. He’s been dead for over 20 years. I got widows pension for over one year. I worked most of my life. Prior i applied for SS disability, i got approved for SS disability. I went to VA and stopped Widows Pension.I have been getting SS disability checks for couple of months. I did not get my back pay, why? Are they keeping it because of Widows Pension. I called several times and they do not give me any answers. They are investigating now into it. Please give me any info on what you know. Thanks.
Your VA widow’s benefit would have no effect on your Social Security disability benefits.
Whether or not you are eligible for back pay from Social Security depends on your date of filing, and the date that you were determined to meet Social Security’s disability standards . Social Security disability benefits can be paid for up to 12 months prior to the month of filing, but entitlement doesn’t start until a full 5 months after the established onset date.
For example, say John became disabled June 3, 2015, and files for disability benefits on July 2, 2016. If his claim is eventually approved with an established onset date of 6/3/2015, his 5 month waiting period would be July through November of 2015, and he would be entitled to disability benefits starting for December, 2015. Since John filed later than that, he would be due back pay.
Disability Benefits For A Disabled Surviving Divorced Spouse
If you are disabled and divorced from a former spouse who has died, you may qualify for benefits as a surviving divorced spouse based on the deceased ex-spouses account.
Requirements for this program are much like the above criteria for a widow or widower, with the following major difference: the duration of marriage requirement is a minimum of 10 years.
Note: If you are divorced and remarry after a separation of one year or more, then the 10 years must be restarted. Example: You are married for 4 years, divorced for 2 years, and remarry the same person for another 6 years and get divorced again: While you may have been married to the same person for 10 years, you would not be an eligible surviving divorced spouse.
Note: The 10-year rule can be waived if you are still caring for a child from the marriage who is under the age of 16 or is disabled.
You May Like: How Do You Change Your Va Disability Direct Deposit
Can A Divorced Spouse Receive Social Security Disability Survivors Benefits
Yes, you may still qualify for survivors benefits for your divorced spouse if:
- You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years,
- You are not currently married, and
- You are at least age 62.
The death of a spouse can cause overwhelming emotional and financial strain.
You need someone with legal experience you can trust to help you move your life forward. At Pilzer Klein, we know what it takes to qualify for Social Security Disability survivors benefits.
We pay attention to every detail of securing your benefits, so you can focus on restoring a sense of peace in your life.
Does Social Security Pay Death Benefits
A one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceaseds record.
If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceaseds record in the month of death.
You May Like: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay
What Is The Difference Between Spousal Benefits And Survivor Benefits
Spousal benefits are based on a living spouse or ex-spouses work history. Survivor benefits are based on a deceased spouse or ex-spouses work history. If divorced, you may still be able to apply for benefits based on your ex-spouses work if you were married at least 10 years and are currently unmarried.
Eligible For Benefits In The Last 12 Months
There’s an exception for those who recently applied for retirement benefits. If you became entitled to retirement benefits less than 12 months ago, you might be allowed to withdraw your retirement application and apply for survivor benefits only. You can then reapply for your retirement benefits later when the benefits will be a higher amount.
Also Check: Welfare Payment Schedule 2015
What Do You Need To Apply For Survivors Benefits
If you were already receiving spousal benefits before the death, you will not need to submit an application. Instead, the SSA will automatically convert your package to your spouses. If thats not the case, complete this form, and gather these documents:
- Proof of the death
- Birth certificate or other proof of birth
- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were not born in the United States
- U.S. military discharge papers if you had military service before 1968
- For disability benefits, the two forms that describe your medical condition and authorize disclosure of information to the SSA
- W-2 forms and/or self-employment tax returns for the preceding year
- Final divorce decree, if applying as a surviving divorced spouse
- Your checkbook to arrange direct deposit
Minor Or Disabled Child
If you are the unmarried child under 18 of a worker who dies, you can be eligible to receive Social Security survivors benefits.
And you can get benefits at any age if you were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
Besides the worker’s natural children, their stepchildren, grandchildren, step grandchildren, or adopted children may receive benefits under certain circumstances.
Also Check: Filing Temporary Disability
What Percentage Of Social Security Benefits Does A Widow Or Widower Receive
A widow or widower will receive a portion of the deceaseds monthly benefits, and the percentage varies based on your full retirement age and a few other factors.
For anyone born after 1960, full retirement age is 67 years old. If you were born before that date, use the SSAs tool to determine yours. Heres a rundown of what a widow or widower can expect with percentage breakdowns. Also, keep in mind that the more money the deceased contributed to Social Security, the bigger the benefits will be for the widow or widower.
- Full retirement age or older: 100 percent
- Widow or widower between the age of 60 and full retirement age: 5 percent to 99 percent
- Disabled widow or widower between the age of 50 and 59: 5 percent
- A widow or widower of any age caring for a child under 16: 75 percent
In addition to the percentage of monthly benefits, you may be able to receive a $255 lump-sum death payment.
Children under the age of 18 can receive 75 percent of the benefits.
Collecting A Deceased Spouses Ssdi Benefits
If you are the spouse of someone who was collecting Social Security Disability Insurance benefits before passing away, you may continue receiving those benefits. The regulations regarding when and how a widow or widower can collect the SSDI benefits of a deceased spouse can be complex and confusing. Because of this, it is a good idea that you speak to an experiencedSocial Security disability attorney who can help you understand and protect your legal rights.
At Lanier Law Group, we can review your situation and determine if you are eligible to continue receiving your deceased spouses SSDI benefits. We havemultiple office locations throughout the state to better serve you.
Contact us online or call 757-4204 for a free consultation about SSDI benefits for widows/widowers in North Carolina.
Also Check: How To Calculate Disability Retirement Pay
What We Will Ask You
Depending on the information you provide, we may need to ask other questions.
You also should bring along your checkbook or other papers that show your account number at a bank, credit union or other financial institution so you can sign up for Direct Deposit, and avoid worries about lost or stolen checks and mail delays.
Chapter : Maximizing Your Benefit
Many people ask can I collect my deceased spouses social security and my own at the same time? In fact, you cannot simply add together both a survivor benefit and your own retirement benefit. Instead, Social Security will pay the higher of the two amounts.
Did you Know?
If the benefit you would receive as a survivor is higher than your own earned benefit, Social Security pays the higher of the two amounts not the two combined.
While it can seem unfair to not be able to claim both full benefits, there are claiming strategies you can use to maximize the total Social Security benefits you receive. This includes switching from one benefit to the other. See an example from one of our users directly below.
Making the right decision on how to maximize your own benefits depends on how much your own retirement benefit vs. survivor benefit would be, and how long you think you will be living and needing the money. It also depends on whether youre working.
- If you are already receiving spousal benefits when your spouse dies Social Security will convert your benefit to survivors benefits, which are up to 100% of your late spouses full retirement benefit .
You May Like: How Much Does Disability Pay In California
Types Of Widow Or Widower Ssd Benefits
The level of widow or widower SSD benefits you may collect is often based on your age group. The following are the SSD age group categories:
- Full retirement age This group receives full benefits, or 100 percent of the deceased spouses SSD benefits.
- At least 60 years of age, but not yet full retirement age This group receives reduced benefits, usually between 71.5 and 99 percent of the deceased spouses SSD benefits.
- At least 50 years of age and disabled This group receives 71.5 percent of the deceased spouses SSD benefits.
- At any age when not remarried and caring for a child receiving SSD survivor benefits on the deceased spouses record This group will receive 75 percent of the deceased spouses SSD benefits.
With regard to the final group, be aware that benefits to a widow or widower caring for a child under 16 years of age, receiving SSD benefits on the deceased spouses record, end when the child turns 16 years old. A widow or widower can continue to receive SSDI benefits, however, when the child is disabled and continues to be in the care of the widow or widower while receiving SSDI benefits on the deceased parents earnings record. A widow or widower is generally required to have been married to the deceased spouse for at least nine months.
Furthermore, widow or widower benefits can be reduced when a widow or widower is working.
What Benefits Do I Get From My Spouses Social Security
If your spouse is living and receiving Social Security, you may be entitled to up to half of his or her primary insurance amount. Your eligibility and the amount you receive will depend on your age and your spouses earnings. To qualify for this spousal benefit, you must be at least 62 years of age.
For example, lets say that your spouse began collecting Social Security at 65 and you are currently 62. Even if you dont have the work experience to qualify for Social Security, you can get up to half of your spouses monthly Social Security payment based on their work history. However, if your spouse chooses to retire and begin collecting benefits early, your spousal benefit could be reduced by as much as 32.5%. This reduction in benefits is negated if you have a child that is 16 years or younger.
If you want to learn more about these Social Security spousal benefits, consult the Social Security Administration website.
You May Like: How Much Is Ssi In Ca
Other Things You Need To Know
There are limits on how much survivors may earn while they receive benefits.
Benefits for a widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse may be affected by several additional factors:
- If you remarry before you reach age 60 , you cannot receive benefits as a surviving spouse while you are married.
- If you remarry after you reach age 60 , you will continue to qualify for benefits on your deceased spouse’s Social Security record.
- If you receive benefits as a widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse, you can switch to your own retirement benefit as early as age 62. This assumes you are eligible for retirement benefits and your retirement rate is higher than your rate as a widow, widower, or surviving divorced spouse.
- In many cases, a widow or widower can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate.
- If you will also receive a pension based on work not covered by Social Security, such as government or foreign work, your Social Security benefits as a survivor may be affected.
However, if your current spouse is a Social Security beneficiary, you may want to apply for spouse’s benefits on their record. If that amount is more than your widow’s or widower’s benefit, you will receive a combination of benefits that equals the higher amount.
Am I Eligible For Social Security Disability Widow Or Widower Benefits
You may qualify for Social Security Disability survivors benefits based on these factors:
If youre between age 60 and full retirement age, you can receive between 71.5% and 99% of your spouses disability benefits. If youve reached full retirement age, you can receive 100% of your spouses disability benefits.
Your Role as Caretaker of Your Spouses Child
If youre caring for your spouses child who is a) under 16, or b) over 16 and has a disability, you can receive 75% of your spouses benefit, no matter your age.
Your Own Disability
If youre between the ages of 50 and 59 and you have a disability, you can receive 71.5% of your spouses benefit.
Every day at Pilzer Klein we help people like you get the benefits they need and deserve.
Social Security Disability is all we do.
You May Like: Is Benign Intracranial Hypertension A Disability