Helping People With Disabilities Nationwide

What Happens to My Benefits After Death?

by | Aug 5, 2022 | SSD - Social Security Disability Benefits For Illnesses |

Lalalalala! *Plugs ears* “I don’t want to talk about that!”

Death is not a subject many (or any) of us like to think about, much less talk about. But it is a reality for everyone, and if you are disabled with a terminal condition or pass away for any reason while receiving disability benefits, you may wish to let your family know what rights they have, if any, to those benefits.

If you fall into one of the following categories, you may receive some or part of your deceased loved one’s benefits:

    1. Widow/widower – if you have reached your own FULL retirement age, you can collect the deceased’s full benefits; if you are between 60 and your full retirement age you can collect partial benefits; if you are between 50 and 60 you can receive full benefits if you yourself are disabled for at least 7 prior to your disabled spouse’s death
    2. Divorced – if you were married to the deceased for at least 10 years the same rules in #1 apply to you
    3. Children of the deceased – you can receive survivor’s benefits IF you are 18 and unmarried OR 19 and in secondary school OR were found disabled prior to 22 yourself and are still disabled
    4. Parents of the deceased – must be over 62 and have relied on the deceased for more than ½ your living expenses prior to their death
    5. Grandchildren – may received benefits of the deceased if the parents of the grandchild are themselves deceased or disabled OR you as the grandparent have legally adopted your grandchild

There are some other more specific scenarios not noted here, so if you have questions, please contact our attorneys and ask away! We will take care to advise you with knowledge and compassion during this time of loss.


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