171 thoughts on “The Importance of Social Security Survivors Benefits

  1. I HAVE AN APPOINTMENT FOR 07 20 2017
    FOR MY SSDI I DON’T KNOW WHAT’S I WILL EXPECT GOOD LUCK OR TO BAD WITH MY CLAIMS.I HOPE I WILLING TO PREPARE MY FOR ANYTHING COME IN UP WITH MY INTERVIEW.WITH SSA STAFFS.

      • Took me 3 years to get approved. An at toe that specializes in Disability is absolutely necessary, however no need to get one until after your first denial. Yes, I said first denial because you will more than likely be denied a few times before getting approved, if ever. Only 40% of people who apply get approved. Do a lot of research to prepare yourself for the hearing if you get that far. It’s really helpful to know the process backwards and forwards. Good luck!!!

        • Do you think that 40% get approved because they are actually disabled and the rest of the folks are looking for a free ride?

          • The law was written so that if there are jobs you can do that exist in significant numbers in the national economy you are not considered disabled. That is the law as written by Congress. It is not like a comp payment simply you cannot work your last job. If there is any job you can do based on your experience and education, you may not qualify. Congress believed if you can work, you should. Sadly, most people apply that rule to someone worse off than they are (e.g. the poor). If you are middle class you get different rules apparently.

          • Can’t be a free ride if the applicants have worked and paid into social security. If approved, they’re not even getting all that they contributed. Even receiving retirement, you’re paid a month later that your qualify date. And if you die before receiving benefit payment for any given month, the survivor is not even allowed to keep the check for funeral ecpenses. They have to send it back!
            Sounds very shortchanged to me!!!

          • Re: deceased xSpousal support.. It’s been nearly 90 days since I filed but can’t get an answer from anyone @ your 800#. Please help me. I have filled all on the requisite paperwork ie marriage/& divorce forms…I went into the Plantation office on August 3, 17 and filled a claim.. but have heard from no one.. I desperately need your assistance..Thank you very much, Sincerely Rosemary A.

          • Hello Rosemary, we apologize for this inconvenience. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please continue working with your local office and know you can request to speak with the local office manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit your local servicing office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • lawyers normally do NOT get involved until the admin law judge hearing date is set!

        my ssdi lawyer of 4 yrs. QUIT me during the 2nd claim process.

        i represented myself and WON saving me $6,000+ lawyer would have gotten.

        so it can be done, but this was drawn out to 5 hellish years and 3 drawers full of redundant ssdi/medical records! grrrr.

    • Hi Lesly! Please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability. Disability Benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to result in death. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. Our representatives will guide you and provide the assistant needed to complete the application process. You can help us, if you’re prepared and ready to provide the information we need to process your claim. To learn more, visit our Disability Planner. We hope this help.

  2. I am under unemployment now. Could you please help me how to get benefit fro my child who is in Grade 9?

    • You can’t get SS for your child unless the child is disabled or if you are disabled and receiving SSDI not SSI. The other way would be if the child or children’s father received SSDI then your 9 year-old would be eligible to receive benefits from the biological father providing he never signed away his parental rights. Also you wouldn’t be not be eligible for Transitional assistance because you are receiving unemployment benefits you should be able too get foodstamps though. Also child support is an option, hope this information provided was a help to you.

    • $255.00 …. hasn’t changed since law was 1st set out 40-+ yrs. ago!

      contact the 1-800 no. or your local ss office to file a claim.

      • Did it ever occur to you he might want to know about monthly benefits paid to a widow and not the lump sum death payment?

        • your so right.forget the lump sunI I need to know what about someone like me that was married for 39 years and im only 57 years old now its not my fault my husband died at 59 now i have to wait untill im 62 my husband supported me he was the only one working same job 40 years and ssi says the care of the survivors widows. thats a lie and a one time lup sum of 255 or 250 is nothing i cant help me live on. and im not trying to get a free ride we paid into ssi all our working
          life now what!

    • She’ll get your benefits, if yours are higher than hers. The $255 is not enough to even bury even animal, so you need to have life insurance.

  3. Not sure about the death benefit and how to apply for it. Who gets the benefit. Sure would help in paying end of life bills.

    • you got right thats why they keep changing it untill we even get much older and older until we can collect because their hoping we die frist so the govermenr can keep our money cant they
      give. widiows their money now and they can just redused it some just my opinion.

  4. I’m not sure I understand why if my husband and I have been married for 40years and we always had a combined income Ssdi stopped sending me 1099 for 2016. This prevents us from doing our income taxes. Yes he is in Lowell Mass because medical is cheaper than nh. And with Alzheimer’s he threw away the 1099 forms anyway. Now I need a lawyer for this guardianship.

    • contact local ss office promptly!

      you should have received 1099 regardless.

      need for medical decisions as well as for general/selling things, etc.

    • Hi Sandra. It sounds like your husband will need help managing his Social Security benefits. If you or another relative are interested in applying to become your husband’s Representative Payee, you will need to contact your local office for a face-to-face interview. As a representative payee, you will be able to talk with us and have access to your husband’s records. To include copies of your husband’s Form 1099. In the future, it will make it easier for you to update his account information. We understand how inconvenient this may be, but we hope that you understand our role in protecting everyone’s personal information. If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

  5. Myvhusband of over 41 years died suddenly July 27, 2016. I applied as soon as I got back from his funeral. I finally started receiving his benefits today. Ten months after I filed. They screwed up my backpay and I am being told now that they refigured what I am suppose to receive… Problem? They don’t know how soon I will be receiving the corrected backpay amount. Losing your spouse after so many years is hard enough to deal with and move on from. NOW THIS. I am on disability and have to live with other people in their homes because I can’t afford on just what I am receiving to pay a deposit and first months rent, utility deposits and moving costs without the backpay. I had an apartment waiting for me and I may have lost it because of the ineptness of Social Security. I have no idea when I will be able to move into my own place. Needless to say I am very upset right now. Tell me please… HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO KOVE FORWARD IN MY LIFE. I am 61 years old. Without my beloved husband and without a place of my own.

    • that’s why we need to have a paper trail showing the date, time, people talked to, and EXACTLY what was said with each person; FILE SAFELY AWAY to refer back to.

      they should give you BACK PAY promptly.

  6. I know, its so hard to get what you are entitled to. And what LITTLE you get isn’t enough to make ends meet. I have to go to food banks to eat…that is just not right.

  7. My husband passed away 5yrs ago age 41 leaving me then with a 10 and 12yr old children I thank god for survivor benefits but now they are 16 and just turned 18 I am forced to look for fulltime work which for the last 4yrs been taking and dealing with depression both kids endured and on top of that my dad passed suddenly at 61 of heart attack. Going on 3yrs im only 44 and just started therapy because I feel like a ton of bricks landed on me my husband was the bread winner and i tried to work but my kids needed me and still do im scared no life insurance just ss which like I said I am grateful but scared

  8. My husband passed. And as far as I know he never remarried and neither did I. He was in another state and Vita statistics. Will not give me a death certificate to apply for anything. He was also in the army. What can I do about this.

    • Hi, Vivian. In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to Social Security and we use this completed information from the funeral home as proof of death. Please contact us to discuss possible survivor’s benefits. To schedule an appointment or to speak to one of our agents, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or you can contact your local office directly. Thanks.

  9. I have been through the SSDI process for myself, my husband, 2 friends and now my daughter. They were all approved but one who and she did not follow the paralegals instructions and was deceptive.All used the same paralegal I did. I am not an expert, just a regular person, but here is my advise.

    There are a lot of deadlines, the need for medical records, etc. is vital to your case. Continue to see doctors until your case is settled.
    My advice, find a lawyer or a paralegal to do the work for you. The only time you actually need an attorney is if after you have your hearing with the Judge you are turned down. A that point a paralegal can not represent you in a law suit, it must be an Attorney.

    For most this is a long stressful process from start to finish, I would not do it without legal representation to
    order, copy and file and the paperwork for me. Every case is different, so don’t think your case will move along like anyone else that you may know who went through the process. We all have different medical back grounds, some have more records to establish their case or issues you may not know about that helped them to get through the process quicker, or may have slowed them down. Your case is your case, you can’t depend on how much time it took others, or how much money they may have gotten awarded in the end. If you want to know an approximate amount of what you may be awarded, ask for your Social Security Statement. It will have a place on there that will tell what your income may be if you have become disabled and cannot work.
    You will only receive what you paid into the system during the years you have worked.

    Realize you cannot work during the process whatsoever. Realize there is always the possibility that someone from the social security office may check up on you to see if you are as disabled as you claim to be. In other words, don’t say you can’t walk, or lift a certain amount of weight, etc. and then be seen carrying 30 lbs of groceries into you house, mowing your lawn or doing anything to go against doctors orders or your listed limitations. Sometimes, people can report you and they will send someone to document you if you are living in such a way that goes against what you have claimed you cannot do. I have not seen that happen, but It does happen.
    Just be prepared for a very long process and if it turns out to be shorter than average, it will be a delight and an unexpected blessing. My daughter has gone through her first year of waiting, and updating all her records. she was just turned down the second time and is waiting to see the judge. The wait time may be as long as another 18 months.
    Please, please, please, to relieve or hold down the stress levels, find legal representation!! Look for someone who will file for you from the beginning to end.
    The gather of paper work, medical records and other things you will need to support your case can be long and tedious and frustrating. A legal rep. will have be able to request all of that on your behalf. Most medical personnel will respond to a request from a legal representative much faster a patients request.

    Some attorneys let you do all the work, and they aren’t worth the effort of even talking to . Find someone who will go through the process from the beginning to end. Choose legal representation that will not charge you until you have won your case. By law, no legal representation can charge you more than 25% of what you get paid when your case is settled. My paralegal earned only 18 dollars after two years of representing a client who had a very short working record and who had only a small amount of money owed to her. That is the kind of person who you need representing you. The more expensive a lawyer is means nothing. The way the system works is already established by laws etc. A high priced attorney cannot change that and it does not mean you will get through the system faster.

    Find a legal rep who you are comfortable with, and check their reputation. One that is understanding but will also be honest with you, even if the truth hurts. Don’t be afraid to ask questions but don’t be hateful with them. Most will understand your frustrations and that you are not feeling well and may have an off day, but they can’t change the system either and taking out your frustrations on them will not change and thing or work in your favor.

    When I first filed I made an appointment with an attorney and went to the address I was given. The man was working in a motel and came to the door in a dirty T shirt and baggy shorts and his room smelled like sweat and as if 10 hookers had been working there recently. Not what I was looking for in my legal representation!
    I hope this has been helpful. Best wishes to you.

  10. I’m already receiving survivor benefits and my daughter just turned 18 in September and she started receiving her own check because she was still in school and she was supposed to go and get a direct express card and she never did will her money come to me or will we lose it forever

    • Hi Rose. Now that your daughter is 18 years old, we will send payments directly to her. However, the law requires Social Security beneficiaries, to receive their payments electronically. If your daughter has a bank account, she can create a my Social Security account to start direct deposit. Also, she can consider the Direct Express® debit card as another viable option. Your daughter can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and one of our agents will assist her. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. See “How Do I Sign Up to Receive an Electronic Payment? For more information.

  11. I hope you can help me. My father in law is elderly and I am trying to help him. My mother is law died May 2nd. Today, her Social Security payment showed up in the checking account. I tried to call Social Security, but they wouldn’t answer my questions because they don’t accept POA’s ( I am my father in laws Financial POA). Anyways, My question is: IS he going to get his SS benefit and my mother in laws benefit? Are they taking away his benefit ( which is higher and he needs that money) and just giving him her smaller amount? My father is law is very very worried and upset because he can’t call the Social Security Office ( he is elderly and hard of hearing) and they won’t talk to me. He is afraid because if he only gets her benefit it’s less than 1/3 of their total benefits so he would lose everything ( the house, etc). ANY advice? Any answers? I have spent hours reading the website and it’s not helping.

    • Take him to the local SS office. Also, you can’t meddle in his business unless you are appointed his representative payee, so ask about that.

    • We are sorry for your loss Angela, and regret to hear of the inconveniences you experienced while trying to help out. Your father-in-law is only allowed to receive one payment. He will likely continue to receive his payment, as we generally pay the highest benefit amount from either record. The payment received this month for your mother-in-law, must be returned. The law specifies, that if a deceased person was receiving Social Security benefits, the payment received for the month of death or any later months must be returned. If the person dies in May, you must return the benefit paid in June. Please contact the bank and ask them to return the payment. If your father-in-law needs help managing his Social Security benefits, you can apply to become his Representative Payee. A representative payee is different than having “Power of Attorney” when conducting business with Social Security. As a representative payee, it will be easier for you in the future, to update information in your father-in-law’s record. We hope you understand our role in protecting everyone’s personal information. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 to discuss any possibility for survivor’s benefits and to schedule an appointment with the local office if you want to become your father-in-law’s representative payee. Our agents are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thank you.

  12. If I would like to begin collecting my social security at age 64, should I apply several months before the age of 64?

  13. Currently I’m receiving SS income of $18k and retirement $22k for retirement., total $40k/yearly. I’m planning to get a part time job to help out my family in need. How much money maximum can I earned and still keep my SS check ? In advance, thank you very for your advice.

  14. My ex spouse is two years younger than me. My full retirement age is 66 & 4 months, his is 66 & 8 months. If I collect on my own work record at full retirement age, I will receive about $830/month. When my ex reaches his full retirement age, I was told that his ss would be added to mine for a monthly payment of $1,300. But, would I have to wait until I am 68 years old to collect on his ss and receive the full amount from his ss? Thank you

    • Your benefit as a divorced spouse can be equal to one-half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age. To see if you meet all the requirements go to “If You Are Divorced”. Thanks!

  15. Hello. If my ex spouse decides to take his social security at age 62, will that be the end of me being able to collect on his at my full retirement age? If he takes his early, I will not be able to survive financially since my work record will not pay out very much. Thank you

    • Hi Tinamar. If you meet all other factors of eligibility and your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you may be eligible to receive Divorced Spouse benefits on your ex-spouse’s record. Your benefit as a divorced spouse can be equal to one-half of your ex-spouse’s full retirement benefit amount, only if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age.

  16. My husband, who was the primary wage earner, died 2 years ago. I just turned 62 and want to apply for my own retirement benefits now, which are much lower than my Survivor Benefits, and wait a few more years before applying for Survivor Benefits. Is this possible? I am getting conflicting statements from SSA regarding whether I can do this.

    • Thank you for your question. If you are the widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 60(age 50 or over if you are disabled). At this time, if you are also eligible for retirement benefits on your own record (but haven’t applied yet), you may have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other (higher) benefit at a later date. If you work while you receive Social Security benefits, and you make more than the yearly limit, your earnings may reduce your benefit amount. Please read our publication: How Work Affects Your Benefits for more information. To make an appointment or to speak to one of our representatives, call our toll free number 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or contact your local Social Security office directly.

  17. The Gov Pension Offset (GPO) provision will disqualify you from receiving your spouses Soc Sec (SSA) Survivors Benefit if your non-Soc Sec pension is two-thirds or more than your spouses SSA Survivors Benefit. The GPO most likely will effect the pension earned by law enforcement, firemen/women, other public safety professionals, and teachers, even if these professionals earned 40 SSA credits at some other time in their lives. As of Dec 2013, 81% of those negatively affected by GPO were WOMEN! (Soc Sec: The Gov Pension Offset (GPO), Congressional Research Service, April 23, 2014). There are many exemptions/exceptions to GPO, but SSA staff will not help you with these exemptions/exceptions (SSA POMS: “Claim Specialists are to provide information, and avoid giving advice to claimants”, SSA: Improvements to Claims Process Could Help People Make Better Informed Decisions about Retirement Benefits, Report to the Special Committee on Aging, U.S. Senate, September 2016).

    SSA retirement/survivor benefits are not welfare, but an annuity. SSA has been implementing provisions to disqualify/deny benefits based on “need”, instead of contributions, i.e. GPO, Windfall Elimination Provision, and taxation of SSA benefits.

  18. I would like to no how long it takes to get back pay of one month i have recived two checks they said they would send it when they figured i hadnt worked in to yrs prior im 64

  19. Do I have to have an appointment to apply for survivor benefits for my daughter, or can I just walk in to an office and apply? Thanks

    • Thank you for your question Elizabeth. Some of our local offices do offer walk-in appointments; however, these appointments are on a first come, first serve basis. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. It will also establish “protective filing” and prevent any loss of benefits for your daughter. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and ask one of our agent to assist you. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We hope this helps.

  20. My wife died 25 years ago; we were married for 20 years. How do I get a copy of her SS statement? I need it to determine the amount of survivor’s benefits I may be entitled to, and I have none of her statements.

    • Hi Mike. Any of our representatives will be able to review your benefit record and verify your payment information. You may not even have to travel to the local Social Security office, you can write to us, or you can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives at our toll free number are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  21. My husband died in 1995 (I never remarried and continued working) and when I turn 63 I am planning to retire and apply for Social Security Benefits. I have been told in the past that I can restrict my application to apply for only the widow’s benefit now and then when I reach my own full retirement age I can apply and switch to my own benefit which will be higher. Recently I called SS and was told I could not do this but I read on the site that I could. Who do I believe?

    • Hi Diane. If you are also eligible for retirement benefits (but haven’t applied yet), you may have an additional option. In many cases, a widow or surviving divorced spouse can restrict the scope of their application and start receiving their survivor’s benefits, while delaying their own retirement benefit and earn delayed retirement credits. At this time you cannot apply for survivors’ benefits online. To make an appointment with your local Social Security office, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. We apologize for any misunderstanding.

      • Thank you so much for this information Ray Fernandez! This clears up the conflicting information I received earlier by phone.

  22. I am presently working for the Federal Government (36 years) and planning to retire this 2017. I have 30 quarters paid on SS and need 10 to complete the 40s. I got divorced on 2014 and haven’t remarried. Question – am I entitled to a ss benefit/check when I turn 62 years next 2018 from my ex-husband? What is the procedure to claim benefits if I am entitled to? I am planning later to get me a part time job to complete the 10 qtrs. I need. When I have the 40 qtrs. – will I be able to get an ss check or wait until 65 I am totally confused!

    • Hi Licy, you may be eligible to receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record at age 62, if:
      • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
      • You are unmarried;
      • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and,
      • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
      Also, if you continue to work, you will have to contact us as soon as you attain your 40 quarters of coverage (credits). Keep in mind that a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your benefits can be reduced based on one of two provisions. If you are divorced and qualify for benefits on your ex-spouse’s record, your benefits may be affected by the “Government Pension Offset“. Your own Social Security benefit can be reduced based on the “Windfall Elimination Provision“. We hope this information helps.

  23. My husband and I were married for 3 years when he died of cancer ( multiple myaloma) at 43, We had no children together. I remarried 10 years later. We were married for 5 years when he died of pancreatic cancer at age 52. Yes, talk about heart ache, I remarried and divorced in 2010. Now I’m alone at age 62 can I receive survivor benefits from my late husband?

    • Thank you for your question Arlene. A widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, may be eligible to receive reduced benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled). In addition to satisfying the length of marriage requirement, the widow must also be unmarried (unless remarriage occurred after attainment of age 60/age 50 if disabled). At this time, we do not offer an online application for survivor’s benefits. To see if you are eligible for benefits on your deceased husband(s) record, you will need to speak to a Social Security representative. To schedule an appointment with your local office, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak with one of our representatives. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. An appointment is not required, but if you schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. We hope this information helps.

  24. My Husband passed in 2015. He did not have 40 Qtrs/Credits. I have a statement (DATED July 2003) prepared by SSA that states: Your record shows you have at least 28 credits at this time.

    Survivors: You have earned enough credits for your family to receive the following benefits if you die this year:
    Your Child: $299 a month

    I am not concerned about myself since I have paid into SS and I have my own pension.

    I am concerned for our daughter that was 17 when he passed. She has received nothing. I did not apply online, I went directly to the SSA office in Roseville CA. to provide a death certificate.

    Did the law change? Does SS no longer provide dependent assistance in education? Are there any benefits our daughter qualifies for? Even with 28 credits back in 2003 we both qualified for something if he had passed at that time. In 2015 we qualify for nothing? Not even the $255. burial assist?

  25. My wife died in 1998 leaving me behind at the time a disabled child(14) and 8 year old. I was given 255.00 lump sum and my children were each given monthly benefits. When my disabled child became an adult, he went on his own SS and also receives the survivors benefit, and when my youngest went off that was it. They never continued to give me a widowers survivor benefit for being sole caretaker of a disabled adult child, nor was I ever informed this option was available. Recently when my son was up for disability review, the representative asked why I wasn’t given any type of benefits. SO basically since 2004, when my youngest turned 18, should I have been also receiving benefits, or all along? Is retroactive an option? Trying to figure out how this was missed when I have all the original paperwork, and nothing states anything.
    Thank you

    • Thank you for contacting us, Robert. In some cases, a widow or widower can receive survivor’s benefits at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased worker’s child who is under age 16 or is disabled and receives benefits on the worker’s record. Please keep in mind that Social Security benefits are subject to a “family maximum”. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this venue. We encourage you to continue working with your local office. If you are unable to visit your local office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance and a thorough explanation. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • Okay thanks,
        We are aware of the family maximum, but are thinking the filing may have originally been filed wrong because I was never made aware of any survivor benefits when my children became adults and I have always been the sole caretaker of my disabled adult son.

  26. I am looking for an attorney to represent me in a Request for Reconsideration for Survivor Benefits on behalf of my son. I can’t find one that specializes in Survivor Benefits only Disability. Where can I find a list of attorney in Massachusetts to represent me?

    • Thanks for your question, Denise. Many people handle their own appeals. A representative familiar with Social Security’s programs can provide a valuable service to you. However, the decision whether or not to seek the services of a representative (attorney or other qualified person) is up to you. More information about representatives can be found in our publication, “Your Right to Representation.” If you need help requesting a review, contact your local Social Security office, your local hearing office, or call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you’ll have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Good luck!

  27. I have a question. My daughter receives a social security benefit because her father, who is 62, applied for a retirement benefit. There is also a court order for child support. My daughter’s ssa payment, while gratefully appreciated, does not cover even half of the court ordered amount. Should we receive the balance of the ordered amount from his benefit? Please advise.

    • Thank you for your question, Elizabeth. When you qualify for Social Security retirement benefits, your children may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. In your daughter’s case, the Social Security payments she is receiving, are an entitlement based on her relationship with the wage earner/ (her father). We suggest that you continue to work with your local Child Support Bureau for guidance in this issue.

  28. I am currently still working for the State Trial courts. I am also currently receiving survivor benefits from my deceased husband social security account. My question is, when I retire I will receive a government pension and would like to know if my survivor’s benefits will be reduced at that time? I am also eligible for my own social security benefits under my own work record. If my benefits will be reduced, what is the percentage of that reduction?

    • Hi Barbara. Generally, a pension based on work that is not covered by Social Security (for example, Federal civil service and some State or local government agencies) may cause the amount of your Social Security benefit to be reduced. Your Social Security benefits can be reduced based on one of two provisions: the Windfall Elimination Provision and the Government Pension Offset.

  29. Filled out returned SSA-L9779-SM-SUP in
    August 2017. Marked box indicating will retire 10.06.17. No income for oct nov dec this year. Will I get my survivors pymt in jan 2018 and continue to receive them in 2018?
    Do I still need to mail and call to tell them again that I retired 10.06.17. Thank you in advance for your time !

    • Hi Judy. We generally used the SSA-L9779-SM-SUP form on initial claims, when the monthly earnings test is applicable. Estimates are made and used prior to the close of the tax year and are intended to help prevent overpayments.
      For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. However, one of our representatives should be able to provide you with an explanation and answer your questions about this matter. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  30. I’m receiving ss benefits as a widow. will my benefits change when I reach 70. My husband s wages were higher than mine. I am not working.

  31. my husband died in 2014. we were married in 2013.
    I was his caregiver at home. why could I at the age of 46 when he died not get some social security benefits?
    it doesn’t really matter now, I loved him for a lifetime and we spent his last 2 years together, a huge accomplishment for us! I miss him dearly and don’t care about the money, but I just would like to know to help others in this position. So sad, he paid in for years, was 59 and died of cancer, worked so hard all his life! just curious!

  32. I WANT TO REPORT THAT MY WIFE DIED. PLEASE CONTACT ME BY E-MAIL OR TELEPHONE, 646-522-3894. HER NAME: ZULLY MALDONADO.

    • We are sorry for your loss, Mr. Maldonado. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by sending the deceased person’s death certificate to the local Social Security office.
      To confirm if your wife’s passing was reported and to see if you may be eligible for survivor’s benefits, you must contact us. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak with one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thank you.

  33. My husband was murdered In our home at age of 56 I am 55 and suffer from depression and I am bipolar he was the only one that worked I do not know what to do I do not know if I can work it’s been years since I held a job

    • We are very sorry for your loss. Disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to result in death. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability. You may find our listing of impairments useful.

      If you think you are disabled, you can file for disability. To apply online for disability benefits, go to http://ssa.gov/pgm/disability.htm. You will still need to complete your Supplemental Security Information (SSI) application at your local office. Once you’ve completed the online disability application, please call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday to have one of our representatives schedule an appointment for you with your local office to complete your SSI application.

  34. If my grand kids are receiving social security survivors benefits, is any of that money allowed to be into a 401 program for their future education? Thank you.

  35. It’s quite hard to suffer from lost of someone beloved and American govt has started to help such kind of people financially so they get totally broken.

    Thank you for making things valid and more information in manner of explanation.

  36. I need to know why when my husband passed away, social security sent the death widdow benefit to my husband’s first wife.? Plus 2 other checks .he passed away 5-12-2007 , and I haven’t received any thing.!

    • Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time.
      Usually, the funeral director will report a person’s death to Social Security. You cannot report a death or apply for Survivors Benefits online.
      If you were already receiving benefits as a spouse, under your husband’s record, your benefit should automatically convert to widow’s benefits. Keep in mind that if a person already receives retirement benefits on his or her own record, they can only receive a higher benefit as a widow or widower if the retirement benefit they receive is less than the benefits they would receive as a survivor. Also, benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse, won’t affect the benefit rates for other survivors getting benefits on the worker’s record. See “how you may qualify as a survivor on someone else’s Social Security record” for more information.
      To see if you qualify for a higher benefit amount, or to make an appointment to apply for survivor’s benefits, you need to speak with a Social Security representative.
      Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day. We hope this information helps.

  37. when i die will my wife be eligible for my full social security benefits if she collects the spousal part of my social security now?

    • Thank you for your question, Paul. As you may already know, your wife’s survivors benefit amount will be based on your benefit amount. If you’re receiving reduced benefits, we base her survivors benefit on that amount. It also depends on her age, when she starts collecting widow’s benefits. If she’s already receiving benefits as a spouse, on your record, her benefit will automatically convert to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death.
      See section: “Survivors Benefit Amount” of our Benefits Planner: Survivors for more information.

  38. My husband passed recently and I cannot get anyone to answer, been on hold for 45 minutes and I need a fax Number where the cremation company can send his death certificate to you, and I need to know how much money I will receive a month. Tried calling again and the wait is 1 hour, can you help please??? Susan Dohner 951-658-0785. Thanks & God Bless !

    • We are sorry for your loss, Susan. You cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online.
      In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to Social Security. If at the time of death, you were receiving spousal benefit under your husband’s record, your benefit will automatically be converted to a survivors benefits once we receive the report of his death. If you are the widow of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can start receiving benefits at age 60 (age 50 if disabled).
      You can also contact your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. Generally, when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will experience a shorter wait time, if you call later during the day or later in the week.
      Please visit our Benefits Planner: Survivors for more important information. Thanks.

  39. How can I view my deceased spouse’s statement of benefits. I am going to file for Survivors Benefits this coming July and would like to see an estimated benefit to expect? I have looked for and cannot find his SSN. The SSA office has given me an estimate that sounds very low and I want to see the calculations.

    • Please continue working with your local office. You can ask that we review your record and provide a thorough explanation as to how we come up with your estimated survivor’s benefit amount.
      If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks.

    • Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. Also, Social Security records are confidential and we do not disclose information about any individual, unless we have proper authorization or consent.
      One of our representatives should be able to provide your friend with an explanation. She can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, there will be a shorter wait time if she calls later during the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  40. What procedure must I go through to tell you my husband died? My Husbands name is Clifford Walter Mueller SSA# *** – ** – ***

    • We are sorry for your loss, Marguerite. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by sending the deceased person’s death certificate to the local Social Security office.
      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online. If you need to report a death, you must contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies in February, you must return the benefit paid in March. Thank you.

  41. I have been trying to apply for my Social Security benefits and my deceased spousal benefits and I am not getting information or assistance on any of my issues. I sit on the phone for hours. I get referred to the website, but it doesn’t help. I tried the automated system and still it doesn’t work.
    I understand you have people other than myself to help, but what do I need to do to speak to someone?

  42. I married a military man from my hometowm. Had a son. Raised him myself. Divorced after seven years. Never remarried and continued to raise my son. His father kept a life policy all those years. My son turned 18 his father assured me the life inzurance was still in force to help me in the future. He died unexpectedly 2009. No life insurance! Can i get his military penson or social security surviors benefit? So far, i cant find anything available to me. Any suggestions.

  43. My wife and I divorced after 32 years of marriage, this past year she passed away, am I entitled to or can I collect on her SS?

  44. My wife died in 2009, at the age of 58. I am now 69 I will turn 70 on June 11th. She worked a big part of her life. Am I entitled to any of her benefits?

  45. Question–I have been receiving Social Security
    Survivor benefits for three years. When I turn 66
    (Full retirement age) am I required to take my own
    benefit or can I remain a survivor and delay taking
    my own until whenever.

    Thanks

    • Great question, Dave. You earn delayed retirement credits automatically when and if you delay getting your benefit up until age 70. The benefit increase no longer applies when you reach age 70, even if you continue to delay taking benefits.
      We hope this information helps!

  46. My father passed about 8 months ago I’m disabled and my stepmother said she’d stilling everything and selling it she has ever hated me can I use some of dads someway and Sue or jail her for spring me living almost homeless and paying people to harness me with the money she got from selling my past with my father

  47. Hi .. I am not sure I am in the right place.. We live in the Netherlands .. I am writing for a friend.. She is Dutch/American and receives SS.. When she passes away.. she wants to know how her son can contact you about that.. what does he need to do or who to contact?

  48. I am confused about funeral costs and unsure of words used. I need to know what to do and how to get help without fear.

  49. I am retired and living in Thailand. I am 68. I have never been married nor had children. If I married a younger Thai national and I died, would she continue to receive the Social Security payment that i receive now? If so, for how long? Also–If we had children, would they receive anything?

    • Thank you for your questions, Vic. When you receive Social Security retirement benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Children can receive Social Security benefits because one or both of their parents are disabled, retired, or deceased. Normally, benefits stop when children reach age 18 unless they are disabled. If the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.
      Some special provision apply to “Noncitizens” receiving Social Security benefits when living inside or outside the United States.
      Remember that when living abroad, you may contact your local U.S. embassy or consulate for assistance. We hope this information helps!

  50. Our mother passed away in June of last year. She was receiving social security. She has three daughters and I was wondering if we are entitled to her remaining SS?
    Navigating through your website leads me to believe we may be entitled to a “lump sum” payment.

    Thank you for your time.

  51. My husband died 7 years ago. I will be 62, on my birthday, May 19, 20018.
    I was told I could receive his social security at this age.
    Please advise me on what I steps I should take to receive his social security.

    Thank you

    • Thank you for contacting us, Elizabeth. A widow can start receiving reduced benefits at age 60 (age 50 if disabled). You cannot apply for survivors’ benefits online.
      If you need to apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also contact your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. We hope this information helps!

  52. I have just started receiving widow’s benefits and was told I could continue to work full time. I was to call when I reached the $17,000 mark and they would stop benefits…did I hear correctly? Also, what if I forget..go over by $8,000….then what? Thank you in advance. I am 60 years old…

    • Hi Lori. When you receive Social security benefits and work at the same time, we usually ask that you give us an estimate of your earnings for the year. If later you realize your earnings will be higher or lower than you estimated, we ask that you notify us as soon as possible so that we adjust your benefits, if necessary.
      If you exceeded the allowable earnings amount for the year, we probably paid you more than you should have been paid, which means you now have an overpayment on your record.
      To learn more about “How Work Affects Your Benefits”, visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page for more information.
      Please call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 if you need further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  53. how long does it take to find out if survivor benefits will be paid and how much. After you have already applied.

    • Each case can be different, Marsha. Please continue working with the office that processed your application for updates or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 and ask one of our agents to assist you. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  54. I failed to write down the date in June I have an appointment to receive call from Social Security regarding benefits since the death of my husband.Robert N Havard. Please advise It is either June 14 or 15.

    Many thanks.

    • Hello Barbara. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time.
      One of our representatives should be able to assist you and confirm the date and time of your appointment. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  55. My husband died in January. We were re ei ing his retirement benefits an my disability benefit. I have not received my disability check in the last few months. I thought I would still get both. I would like to know about this. Thank you. Marsha Gentry

    • Hi Marsha. First, let us to clarify, it is possible for a person to be eligible to more than one benefit at the same time. However, we are only going to pay the highest benefit amount from either records –meaning that you will only be receiving one monthly payment.
      Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  56. Hi– Have heard that in the state of Illinois–that a new law was passed that will not allow a widow to draw her dead husbands benefit instead of her own—been searching for an answer but ended up here–hope you can answer for me !! Thanks for reading and any answers you can give me.

    • Hello Linda. Your Social Security benefits are federal administered programs. In many cases, a widow or surviving divorced spouse can restrict the scope of their application and start receiving their survivor’s benefits, while delaying their own retirement benefit and earn delayed retirement credits.
      The rules are complicated and vary depending on the situation. We recommend that you contact your local office or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  57. I have just started receiving survivor benefits. My husband died March 12, 2018. I am 67 years old. My retirement age was 66. I still work full time and I would like to continue working past age 70. Will I still receive my full survivor benefits or will they be reduced at that time.

    • We are sorry for your loss, Linda. In many cases, a widow or a surviving divorced spouse can restrict the scope of their application and start receiving their survivor’s benefits, while delaying their own retirement benefit and earn delayed retirement credits. The rules are complicated and vary depending on the situation. We recommend that you contact your local office or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will experience a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  58. My brother Richard Nickels, died may 23rd. His check was direct deposited in June it’s still on hold in my checking account. I asked the local office why? The woman got all snotty, Asked Why do I want to know, 2 and a half months is a bit long? She got rude and hung up. When will it be taken out? I’m on SSI 750.00. It’s like they are dangling that money daring me to do something stupid! I was his payee! I had to move out of the apt we lived in for 5 years. Could not pay the rent 930.00. What is up with this?

    • We are sorry for your loss, Tracy. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies in May, you must return the benefit paid in June.
      Generally, the bank will return the payments to SSA after they receive notification of the person’s death. Please speak to a bank representative to be sure. Thanks!

    • Hello Matthew. An “adult-child” with a disability age 18 or older may get Social Security benefits when a parent gets retirement or disability benefits. The child may also get benefits if a parent dies. The child’s disability must have begun before age 22. Thanks!

  59. Hello Jim. My husband passed away last month. I want to ask you how much of his SS Benefit will I be able to collect. I also have SS, much smaller than his.
    Thank you for your reply.

  60. Hello. I was born in 1958. My husband was born in 1939. We have both worked and qualify for social security benefits. My husband has been the higher earner and waited until age 70 to file for social security in order to maximize my survivor benefits. If I file for my own benefits at age 62 I understand that those benefits will be reduced because I will be less than my full retirement age (66 years and eight months). I also understand that if I file at age 62 for my own benefits that I will be deemed to also be filing for spousal benefits at that time. Question #1: If I file at age 62 on my own record and the benefit I receive from that is higher than what I would receive as a spousal benefit, how would my survivor benefit be affected if my husband dies after I file at age 62 on my own record? Question #2: If I file at age 62 on my own record and the benefit I receive from that is not higher than what I would receive as a spousal benefit (resulting in a spousal top up), how would my survivor benefit be affected if my husband dies after I file at age 62 on my own record and receive a spousal top up? Thank you for your help.

    • Hello Katherine. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to assist you. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  61. My husband passed away 18 years ago and I receive his social security benefits. If I should remarry, do I have to go on my own social security benefits, or can I continue to receive his? I am 78 years old, and took early benefits at the age of 62.
    Thank you.

    • Hi Patti, thank you for the question. Widows that remarry after age 60 (age 50 if disabled), may continue to qualify for benefits on their deceased spouse’s Social Security record. If your new spouse is a Social Security beneficiary, you may want to apply for spouse’s benefits on that record. If that amount is higher, you may be entitled to the higher amount, based on both records. Generally, you must be married for one year before you can get spouse’s benefits. Please visit our Frequently Asked Questions web page to see how marriage can affect Social Security benefits. We hope this helps!

  62. My mother passed away Sept. 12, 2017 at that time she had not received her August social security check. I reported her death to S.S. right away and was told I could receive her August check if I filled out some forms and submitted my birth certificate and her death certificate. I did all of the above and it’s going to be a year next month and I have not heard one word about it. I was told it may take up to six months but I’ve since read articles that many people never get their loved ones final check even if they follow all the steps correctly. It’s very discouraging.

    • Hi Christine: We are very sorry for your loss and understand your frustration. For your security, we do not have access to your information in this venue. We encourage you to contact your local Social Security office. If you are unable to connect with your local office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available to help you Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

    • My sympathies, Christine, but a warning for you. MAKE SURE about everything. My father was killed when I was a sophomore in high school and I received SSI checks. After his death, the next check I received, I sent back. 42 years later, YES, FOURTY TWO YEARS LATER, they came after me and said I owed them a lousy $350.00 dollars from an “overpayment” of my father’s benefits checks to me. They actually asked me if I had records…FROM 42 YEARS AGO?
      They took it from my tax return. I called my congressman…he could not have cared less.
      I paid taxes…they knew where I lived…
      Disgusting. And treated like a moocher when, in reality, our parents paid into the system all their life. I absconded with nothing. The way I see it, they absconded from me. So be careful about back end checks. Doesn’t seem like a lot of money but it brought back a tremendous amount of anger and frustration.

  63. Both me and my husband receive Social Security Checks each month. Mine is based on spouse . He is aged 70 and I am 66 years old. If he were to die before me, would I still receive my social security check as well as his full social security check each month or would I just receive a part of just his check?

  64. Sadly the father of my children was murdered. He was supposed to pay child support for all these years. But he didn’t a reason why.was because he was incarcerate. He had so much money in dept for not paying so it built up. Is there a posibility my children can recieve back pay child support?

    • Hello Kidd. Generally, unemployment benefits do not affect Social Security benefits. However, you will have to check with your local unemployment office, to see how your Social Security disability benefits may affect unemployment benefits. Each state operates its own unemployment insurance program.
      We hope this information helps!

  65. I believe that the social security office does not help provide families with the most try can. This office are theives and should be held acountable. They have u waiting all the time.

  66. I just learned of a fraud with my bank account. I have to close my old account. When I went to my profile and field out the info with my new account. It won’t let me CHANGE it for 2 months .I need to close my old account immediately. Not months from now. Every time I call the 800 number or days no one is available to talk to me, and it hangs up.

    • We’re sorry that you had difficulty reaching someone by phone, Sherry. We may have been experiencing higher than normal call volume.
      If you’re not able to make changes to your direct deposit online, please call us back and speak to one of our agents. When calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will experience a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. We answer calls in 29 Tele-Service Centers located nation-wide. The National 800 Number Network provides agent service five days a week from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the caller’s time zone. 24-hour automated services are available 365 per days a year. Or you can contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks.

  67. My brother passed away and I am the personal representative. I will be filling his 2018 income tax and need his statement of benefits paid. What can be done to get a 1099 now?

    • We’re sorry to hear about the loss of your brother, Anthony. In certain cases, we may disclose SSA-1099 information from the record of a deceased person, only to a survivor of the deceased and only if we are able to establish the relationship of the survivor to the deceased based on SSA records.
      You will need to go into the local Social Security office with proper identification and supporting documents to make a request for a replacement SSA-1099. Thanks!

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