Disability, General, Retirement, SSI, Survivors

You and Your Family May Be Eligible for Increased Benefits

September 9, 2021 • By

Last Updated: September 9, 2021

mother and daughter using laptop onlineWe know your circumstances may change after you apply—or become eligible—for benefits. If you, or a family member, receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), certain life changes could entitle you to an increase in your benefit amount.

As part of our Potential Entitlement initiative, we want to help you identify where you might qualify for a higher benefit. For example, you may be entitled to higher benefits based on your own earnings record or someone else’s record. Some of the life changes that could possibly increase your benefits include the following scenarios:

  • If your spouse or ex-spouse dies, you may be eligible for a higher survivor benefit based on his or her earnings record. The death of an ex-spouse may entitle you to a higher survivor benefit even if you are already receiving a survivor benefit on another spouse. Our publication, Survivors Benefits, has additional information we encourage you to check out.
  • If you are receiving Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s work and you have worked, you may be eligible for a higher retirement benefit based on your own work.
  • If your deceased adult child provided at least half of your support, you may be eligible for a higher parent’s benefit based on your child’s work history. Our publication, Parent’s Benefits, includes more information you may want to consider.

We continue to focus our Potential Entitlement initiative on people who face barriers to service. This includes our elderly population, children with disabilities, veterans, SSI recipients, and people with limited English proficiency. We are proud to say that since we started the initiative in 2017, our efforts have resulted in approximately $553 million in retroactive and total monthly increased benefits paid.

We encourage you to check out our Explore the Benefits You May Be Due page for more information on any additional benefits available for you and your family. You can use your personal my Social Security account to check your benefit and payment information – along with your earnings record. If you don’t have a personal my Social Security account, you can create one today!

Please share this information with your friends and family—and post it on social media.


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Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Comments

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  1. Tammy

    My name is Tammy and I get 225 on the 1st and 550 on the 3rd and it’s hard living on a amount every month and I’m just wonder if them up in that office could live off what they say we can live on.its hard.

    Reply
  2. Michael R.

    I only draw such a low amount on my disability and I can’t hardly make it each month after paying all my bills how do I get a increase on my account?

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Michael. We base it on your average lifetime earnings before your disability began. Disability payments are established at the highest rate possible, and we used the highest years of your earnings to calculate your monthly benefit amount. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  3. Sharon R.

    I can’t afford home health Dr.. on just my salary alone. Can’t I use my ex’s SSDI?

    Reply
    • Bill

      Get a second job.

      Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Sharon. To be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, you had to be married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, and you cannot be eligible for a higher benefit on your own record. For more information on how to qualify for divorced spouse benefits, visit our Benefits Planner: If You Are Divorced

      To inquire about potential benefits, call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can contact your local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  4. Erica

    I have been on oxygen since 8/28/2020 due to Severe Asthma and COPD and other health problems. My pulmonary dr took me outta work permanently and I have no income . I applied for help 2 years ago was denied. I had to get a drs letter last year and again this year to send in with my appeal . I have tons of drs bills that I can’t pay and meds that I have to have everyday . I do wish the Government would help me

    Reply
    • Daniel F.

      Call a social security advocate they will apply for you .better than a lawyer they have a small commission and you can receive up to a year in back pay from the date you apply .

      Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Erica. We are sorry to hear about your condition and situation. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  5. Johnny R.

    When will we finally get some SSI help I don’t make it every month I’m falling farther and farther behind my future looks bleak

    Reply
    • Tammy s.

      My checks are hardly covering my bills abd they think we can make it on a small check every month when will as I and ssa get some help

      Reply
      • Filisita H.

        That’s what I’m saying that we don’t have enough money to covet all the bills in the world…….

        Reply
      • Ann C.

        Hi, Tammy. We are sorry to hear about your situation. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps!

        Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Johnny. We are sorry to hear about your situation. We may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Harold P.

    My wife and I are supporting her son whose 48 and disabled, he is my stepson. He is unable to work due to several health issues. He has applied for disablilty 2.5 yrs ago and nothing yet. Is there any way my wife and I can be compensated for his care.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Thanks for your question, Harold. We do not pay caregivers. However, you may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  7. Roselynne S.

    I am currently receive ssi disability payments monthly. My daughter 21 yrs) has been diagnosed with bipolar, anxiety, ocd, and depression. Her father and I are struggling to make ends meet with the payments for her treatment. Because of this we sometimes have to skip payments on other bills. We also have no extra money to save for retirement.

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi, Roselynne.  We are sorry to hear about your situation and your daughter’s condition.  Social Security pays disability benefits to people if they have a medical condition that has prevented them from working or is expected to prevent them from working for at least 12 months or longer. If your daughter believes she is disabled and meets our definition of disability, we encourage her to apply for disability online. She may also find our listing of impairments useful.

      If she is unable or would rather not apply online, she can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or she can contact her local Social Security office. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal.

      Finally, some individuals may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where they live; while they wait for a final determination on their disability claim. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office. You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services web page for more information. We hope this information is helpful!

      Reply
  8. Ron W.

    I’d like someone from Social Security to tell me why, a dual status military member ISNT excused from the WEP. I’ve tried and even had a scheduled review by a law judge and was canceled.
    I feel that I and several hundred others that are in this realm should be reviewed and allowed to get the full Social security as set forth by law. Not just someone’s personal opinion.

    Reply
  9. Rolando L.

    I have problem with my income, I get ssa and SSI I get it 500 dollar for my self from ssa and 250 dollars from ssa for my daughter and the ssi give me to me 314 dollars and the pps give to me 87 dollars but he said that if I has my daughter with me my benefits go down 23 dollars at month if possible can happen please I need help about that

    Reply
    • S c.

      No help for you girl sorry. Your not allowed to draw the max when you have income coming into your home. You can fight it but it will be wasting your time. You want more money well so does every other American in this world so get in line. Sorry to seem so rude but it’s TRUE

      Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Rolando. Unfortunately, your concerns are a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. For your security, we do not have access to information about your account in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community continue to work with their local office for specific questions. Please look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal.  Thanks.

      Reply
  10. Marcie B.

    I’m legally blind and aging, that a fact and I have SSDI. In the near future I will be needing to pay out of my pocket for a caregiver to help me stay independent. But I don’t make enough SSDI to even think about my future with no sight. Just wondering if I’d be able to raise my SSDI. I do have a ex-spouse that made quite a bit of money but I was only married 9 years and it has to be 10 years for them to estimate my SSDI payments off his earnings and he’s still alive. Just seems there’s other countries are miles ahead that help their blind live easier.

    Reply
    • Stefanie r.

      Why will your Medicare or Medicaid not help you pay for home health they can come help you do all that you need. Your drs just gotta approve it and if what your saying is how it is they should not havec1 problem pursuing it

      Reply
      • Brandi B.

        Hi. Do you have a Dual Complete plan? I have both Medicare and Medicade I’m with Aetna now but every insurance I’ve been on a Provider is part of your benefits! For free! Or you can vent have a friend or family member hlp you and hey get paid! Call Medicare ask them about it! Hopefully they will set you up and get the help you need,! 🙏🙌🙏

        Reply
        • Brandi B.

          Sorry lol even have friend
          And get the help you need

          Reply
      • Ann C.

        Hi, Stephanie. You may wish to contact your local Medicare SHIP (State Health Insurance Program Coordinator) to discuss coverage options. We hope this helps.

        Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Marcie. We are sorry to hear about your situation. Your monthly Social Security disability (SSDI) benefit is based on your average lifetime earnings. You may be eligible to receive social services from the state in which you live. These services include free meals, housekeeping help, transportation, or help with other problems. To get information about services in your area and find out if you qualify, you will need to contact your state or local social services or welfare office. We hope this helps!

      Reply

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