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. Wandalyn H.

    Hello
    Where can I get a full copy of my earnings from when I first started to work up now?
    I feel that my wages weren’t counted correctly.
    Thanks
    Wandalyn H

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Wandalyn. For more information on how to get a detailed earnings statement, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps. 

  2. Catherine S.

    I need to find my letter where I was approved for Disability, where can I go to find that,

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Catherine. Thanks for visiting our blog. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  3. Frenchie W.

    I filed a form SSA-44 due to a my pension was reduced and my income IRMAA for 2021 was reduced and I was penalized for my 2020 MAGI. I have filed my taxes for 2022 showing that my income was lowered in 2021 and I should not have been penalized. Will my check be readjusted?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Frenchie. For your security, 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, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  4. Jason S.

    How can I determine what benefits my deceased mother was receiving at the time of her death?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jason. Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can handle in this forum. You can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  5. Leslie S.

    Can you tell me what an SSA310 payment means?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Leslie. It sounds like your question is an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) question, and you will need to contact IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040. We hope this information helps.

  6. D. O.

    I began receiving benefits upon my husband’s death. I was working at that time and chose to receive benefits using my deceased husband’s wages. Now I’m still working and may be earning more than my husband’s wages. Can I change from using his wages to mine?

    • Ann C.

      Hi. You may be eligible for higher benefits on your own record. Since you are currently receiving Social Security benefits on his record, please call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  7. Bob

    My job fired me my son ssi was taken cause I made too much.i reported it in January will he get money in February

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Bob. For your son’s security, 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, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Bob. For your son’s security, 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, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

  8. Marcy C.

    My boyfriend and I are both on disability and we have tossed around the idea of getting married. We were wondering if we did so, how would that effect our disability benefits?

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Marcy. Thanks for your question. If you receive retirement or Social Security disability insurance (SSDI) benefits, your marriage will not affect your benefit. If you are receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI), widow or widower’s benefits, your marriage may affect your benefit. To learn more about how marriage affects benefits, visit our Frequently Asked Questions. We hope this helps.

  9. RUSSELL B.

    Hello, are total income is ss retirement no assets I recently applied for disability , I was told I would get 200 more if awarded , which would make me and my spouse annual income at 34.000 would I need to pay any tax on that? we file jointly and my spouse gets part of my ss because she didn’t work enough.

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Russell. For any income tax questions, you will need to contact the IRS. Their toll-free number is 1-800-829-1040 or you can visit their website at http://www.irs.gov/. We hope this helps. 

  10. Daniel L.

    I live in winston salem NC I receive disability and borderline homeless I live in a camper with my income I can’t afford to live anywhere rent and power is more than o make no banks will give a loan what can I do in need of desperate help

    • Ann C.

      Hi, Daniel. 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.

Comments are closed.