Spouses and dependents of individuals receiving Social Security Disability Insurance can face a drastic life change when they lose a disabled family member, especially if the decedent is the primary family financial support. The Social Security Administration has no other death benefit aside from the $255 one-time payment that is received shortly after the death is reported. This is an obviously inadequate sum for taking care of burial expenses, and hopefully, the decedent has purchased burial insurance to cover these expenses that will assuredly happen for everyone. However, there are certain families that can continue receiving payment from the Social Security Administration when they qualify according to the established rules for ongoing survivor benefits after the primary recipient has passed.

Monthly Spousal Benefits

Age is a central factor for those who are eligible to continue receiving Social Security benefits with the exception of a surviving spouse of any age who is caring for a dependent child under 16 years of age or disabled dependent regardless of their age. These benefits continue until the dependent is no longer eligible. The benefits are not necessarily Social Security Disability Insurance, but rather part of the survivor’s benefits program maintained by the Social Security Administration. Surviving spouses who are age 50 and declared disabled can also continue receiving benefits. Those who are awaiting a disability ruling could be caught in a difficult situation without legal representation from an SSD benefits attorney who could possibly help expedite a ruling. Surviving spouses who are age 60 or older may continue receiving benefits regardless of disability. 

Survivor Benefits for Dependents

Many SSDI recipients leave behind surviving dependent children who will need financial support until they reach adulthood or are dependent disabled children. They become ineligible after they reach the age of 18 unless they are still enrolled in high school, and then the benefit is only payable until they reach the age of 20. The schedule is different for disabled dependent children, but they must be declared disabled before they reach age 22. SSDI recipients who are guardians of their grandchildren will also have benefits extended to these dependents as well as stepchildren in some situations when an SSD benefits attorney can establish their eligibility. This is a grey area of benefit eligibility, and it could be a problem for some families. Payment rates are reduced for all dependent surviving children who are eligible with monthly payments being reduced by 25%. 

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Social Security Disability Claims Attorney

Potential Continuing Benefits

There is any number of medical conditions that can be used to allow a dependent child who has reached adulthood to continue receiving Social Security benefits on their own eligibility. Even mental health issues can be claimed as a disability, and often an experienced SSD benefits attorney can be successful in convincing the government that the surviving dependent should be approved for Supplemental Security Income. This applies for both ineligible spouses as well as dependent children. Many dependent children and spouses have difficulty coping with the loss of a parent, and the program is designed for just such situations. Also known as SSI, the program is typically approved for one year with reassessment conducted periodically. The Social Security Administration has been known to cease benefits within a short time period when continuing benefits eligibility is questionable, but there are also physical ailments that can qualify certain former dependents as disabled.

Contact Our SSD Benefits Law Office

Social Security Disability Insurance eligibility continuance can be a confusing and complicated matter for many families in the aftermath of the death of a family member, and particularly when it was unexpected. It is always best to be prepared by having legal counsel in place before the fact who can investigate the case and design a plan for the family ongoing when the death is expected in short order. Individuals who are in peril of having benefits ended or those who need to continue receiving lost benefits should contact our office for professional representation from an SSD benefits attorney. 

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