Disability, General, Retirement, SSI, Survivors

You and Your Family May Be Eligible for Increased Benefits

September 9, 2021 • By

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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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About the Author

Dawn Bystry, Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Deputy Associate Commissioner, Office of Strategic and Digital Communications

Comments

  1. HUGH

    Should I be receiving more social security payments because I am a veteran? My friend told me he gets a considerable sum for being a vet. Any truth to this statement.

  2. Roseanna c.

    Hi my name is rose I just wonder if we are supposed to get a raise why did they cut my check in stead I understand that I have to pay a check that I was over paid

    • Vonda

      For your security, Roseanna, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call 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. We hope this information helps.

  3. Milly

    Hi my son is currently receiving survivor benifets, but he just got approved for his own ssd benifets due to having had cancer . I was told by a social security employee that he would be receiving both . is he eligible for both is this true?

    • Vonda

      For your security, Milly, we do not have access to private information in this venue. We ask that members in our Blog community work with our offices with specific questions. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance or you can call 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. We hope this information helps.

  4. Mike W.

    When you are married and your wife or husband dies can you collect both social security checks if not why you should be able to collect both or at least the one higher of and half of the other one at the same time

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mike. To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. Keep in mind if you qualify for your own benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Visit here for more information. We hope this helps.

  5. Mary N.

    My spouse is currently receiving SSI benefits. He is 61 years old now, he became disabled from a work accident back in 2006. I am 62 (turning 63 in May), I am hoping to retire the end of 2022 if possible. How do I determine if I should file under my spouse or be primary?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Mary. To qualify for spouse’s benefits, your spouse must be receiving retirement or disability benefits. Keep in mind that if you qualify for your own benefits and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay your own benefits first. If your benefits as a spouse are higher than your own benefits, you will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. Visit here for more information. We hope this helps.

  6. Paige

    If I was unable to obtain gainful employment in order to provide in home care for my parent 24 hours a day, 7 days a week instead of put them into a nursing facility and I did this for 13 years am I eligible for any survivors benefits when they pass away?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Paige. Thanks for your question. Only eligible family members may be able to receive monthly survivor benefits. For more information on this, please check out our publication, “How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies.” We hope this helps.

  7. Wanda

    Thank so much, and God blesd

  8. Ralph G.

    December 9,2021 is it true that if you are on social security disability that as of this date you can get 1400 dollars? I live in Sunrise,Florida.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Ralph. Thanks for your question!  You can create a my Social Security account to review estimates of your retirement, disability, and survivors benefits, your earnings record, and the estimated Social Security and Medicare taxes you’ve paid. We hope this helps! 

    • Loretta b.

      This is Loretta brown is I am get raise with my ssi yes or no thank you so much have a nice day bye

      • Vonda

        Hi Loretta, thanks for using our blog. All monthly Social Security (retirement, disability and survivors) and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for approximately 70 million Americans will see a 5.9% increase in their Social Security benefits and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) payments in 2022.

        For more details about the new COLA, visit our Cost-of-Living Adjustment information page.

  9. JOHN P.

    not able to contact office ,allthough i tried and tried i left messeges .with the extension number i was provided .yet no return calls .didn’t get a benifit payment and needed to contact an agent to have my benifit deposited as i done before .nobody answered or caLLED BACK ,. SEEMS TO ME THEY ARE TO BUSY TRYING TO GET PEOPLE OFF SOCIAL SECURITY THEN ON.

    • Vonda

      Hi John, thanks for reaching out. We are sorry to hear about the difficulties you are experiencing. Please contact your local Social Security office. Look for the general inquiry telephone number at the Social Security Office Locator. The number may appear under Show Additional Office Information. We hope this helps.

  10. Keith N.

    I reported to Direct Express that my card number had been compromised. I was told by them that I had to submit a form titled “OMU” from the SSA to them (Direct Express). I have “scoured” the SSA site and can find no such form. Help !

    • Vonda

      Hi Keith, thanks for using our blog. If you suspect fraud, waste or abuse, we encourage you to report it the Office of Inspector General (OIG).

Comments are closed.