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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  1. Gloria J.

    I went through years and years trying to get disability and when I finally got it I only get 600 and some dollars a month and they expect me to live off of that I can’t get my own place cuz I wouldn’t be able to afford it yes I need an increase who don’t

    Reply
    • Tom S.

      I understand what you’re saying. A person on SSI is living substantially below the poverty level and it’s disgusting being that we live in the richest country in the world. The millionaire congress cares less and something must be done immediately. SSI recipients should receive a MINIMUM of $3,000 monthly no if ands or buts.

      Reply
  2. Blake H.

    I havent eeven recieved one cent from you guys???

    Reply
  3. Dawanda G.

    I have been cheated out of my Ssi for years now since 2012 I was taken off and I worked as a nursing assistant and injured my back been in two car accidents and then put back on in 2017. The Ssi came up with a story that they made a mistake and now I owe them. How? They have taken out $50 every month since I’ve been back on. I now have screws and a Rod from a previous surgery on April 8th and I can not work. This was a big mistake on their behalf and I’m stressed out trying to fight this matter.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Dawanda. We are sorry to hear about your experience and condition. 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. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Eve H.

    Well I believe Everyone on SSI should have received on Stimulus check. I receive SSI for my son that has Autism and ADHD. I have been receiving social security for him for 14 years and I still haven’t received my stimulus check I’m struggling to make ends meet. When will I receive my stimulus check

    Reply
    • J.V

      My daughter has both plus IED and they denied my daughter SSI doctor and even her phycologist told me to apply for her and for 6 years they denied her I gave up I even have a daughter who is 11 with fibromyalgia and they denied her and a son with ADHD and epilepsy and he was denied.I can’t work cause I’m always from one appointment to another calls from school so on but I feel they have they choose one to help it’s incredible.

      Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Eve. The IRS, not Social Security, sends all economic impact payments. Unfortunately, our telephone representatives and social media team cannot answer your specific situation about payments. You can find the latest information available from the IRS website. If you don’t see the answer to your question, you can call the IRS’ payment hotline at 1-800-919-9835. Thanks!

      Reply
  5. Kathryn B.

    I also feel that there is not enough money paid out. I’m deeply Concerned about the community and communication now with the social security administration during this pandemic. CLOSED DOORS AND NOT MUCH HELP. GETTING Late payments and the run around. The keep sending my payments late and I even have to call for emergency service. The last 2 months. WHAT A JOKE! I CAN BARLEY REMEMBER WHO I EVEN TALKED TO ON THE PHONE. this needs help.

    Reply
  6. Stuart S.

    When I got disabled, the last statement from social security in 2011 said my disability would be $1800.00 but I did not get it till the end of 2016 and it was under $1300.00, can anyone tell me why.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Stuart. 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. Generally, you will have a shorter wait if you call later in the day. You can also contact your local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  7. Kathy D.

    Kathy D. September 10,2021

    My husband passed away In 2002,i’m now 56 and been disable for 3 yrs.I’m on SSI i’m not sure if anyone knows the answer to this question.I’ve gotten many different answers from people as to when i’ll be able to collect my deceased husbands SS since i’ll never be able to work again🥺
    Thsnk you

    Reply
    • Gigi

      Age 50

      Reply
      • Joyce

        I was hit by drunken driver back in 2007 and I don’t get all of my social security because I didn’t work enough and I’ve never received any stimulant at all so what do I do what about me I filled out necessary paper still haven’t heard anything from the IRS so what do I do and I’m permanently disabled???

        Reply
        • Ann C.

          Hi, Joyce. The IRS, not Social Security, sends all economic impact payments. Unfortunately, our telephone representatives and social media team cannot answer your specific situation about payments. You can find the latest information available from the IRS website. If you don’t see the answer to your question, you can call the IRS’ payment hotline at 1-800-919-9835. Thanks!

           

          Reply
      • Kathey1265@gmail.

        They said no because i wasn’t disable within the 7 yrs after he passed. I’m 56 been on disability 3 for yrs. My husband passed in 2002 and everything i read say it has to be within the 7 yrs after his death.
        I can’t find anything where it says any different.And Social Security keeps saying no🥺

        Reply
    • Cheryl

      When you turned 50 years old. If you are disabled at 50 then you can draw off your deceased spouse Soc. Sec. See if you can go back to when you turned 50 (back pay). If not, hopefully they can go back 1 to 2 years of back pay. Call social security today and start the process. You may can do it over the phone.

      Reply
      • Kathy L.

        They keep saying no because i wasn’t disable when he passed or within 7 yrs. So now i’m 56 and been on disability for 3 yrs. I get SSI NOT SSDI. My husband passed in 2002. My deceased husband had a lot of work time in and a lot of credits. And i can’t find anything that says different,even though people say you can get it.. ty

        Reply
        • Patty

          Hi Kathy. Thanks for using our blog. A disabled widow may be eligible for benefits if you are between ages 50 and 60, you meet the definition of disability, and the disability started before the worker’s death or within seven years after the worker’s death. For more information about widow’s benefits, check out our Survivors Benefits web page. We hope this helps.

          Reply
          • Kathy

            My husband passed away in 2002. I became disable in 2016(that’s when i filed)So it was way after the seven years..That’s what i’m trying to figure out if i can file or not?? I was not disable before he passed and i was not disable 7 years after.. So can someone please help answer this.Please not i was not disable before he passed or 7 years after he passed.I became disable almost 15 yrs after he passed and i’m on SSI because i don’t have enough work credits… Ty

      • Kathy D.

        I don’t know if i’m saying this wrong in the other post.My husband passed away in 2002,I wasn’t disable whe he passed or 7 years after. I be came disable almost 16 years after he passed away…We were married for 20 years. Do i have to wait till i’m 60 to receive his Social Security?? Ty again I feel like maybe i was saying it wrong the 7 year before are after he passed doesn’t apply to me. Like i said it was almost 16 yrs after he passed before i became disable…,,,

        Reply
        • Vonda

          Hi Kathy, thanks for using our blog. If your deceased spouse worked long enough under Social Security, you can receive widow’s benefits.  If you are disabled, you could begin receiving benefits as early as age 50, if the disability started before or within 7 years of your spouse’s death. If you do not qualify for disabled widow’s benefits, you can receive reduced widow’s benefits as early as age 60. Your survivor benefit amount would be based on your spouse’s earnings. You can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60. 

          You would need to call and make an appointment to file for widow’s benefits as you cannot apply for that online. You can call 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal.

          Reply
  8. Marion E.

    I FEEL AS THOUGH A PERSON SUCH AS ME WHO IS ON SSI WE HAVE NOT BEEN GIVEN ANYTHING TO HELP US DURING ANY OF THE PANDEMIC EXCEPT FOR THE STIMULUS CHECKS WE ARE ON A FIXED INCOME IT IS VERY HARD TO HAVE ANYTHING LEFT AFTER YOU ATTEMPT TO PAY YOUR BILLS OUT OF $800 A MONTH I HAVE A SON IN COLLEGE WHO IS ABOUT TO FINISH AND HIS SOME OF HIS EDUCATION REQUIRES CASH PAYMENT FOR HIS CLASSES I CANNOT GET A STUDENT LOAN FOR HIM A PERSONAL LOAN NOTHING WE NEED HELP TOO WHEN IS SOMEONE GOING TO HELP US YES HE IS 23 HE’S UNEMPLOYED AND HE WAS HOME WITH ME DURING THE PANDEMIC AND HE WAS ONLINE SCHOOLING AND HE HAS DONE GREAT HE ONLY HAS ONE SEMESTER LEFT BEFORE GOING ON FOR HIS MASTER’S DEGREE PLEASE CONSIDER HELPING THE PEOPLE ON FIXED INCOMES A LOT OF THE PEOPLE THAT’S GETTING CHILD TAX CREDITS OR PEOPLE THAT ARE IMMIGRANTS AND COME TO THIS COUNTRY AND HAVE A LOT OF CHILDREN WHEN THEY GET HERE THAT HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH ME I’VE RAISED MY SON ALONE I NEED HELP TOO HIS FATHER LIVES IN LAS VEGAS HE DOES NOT LIVE WITH US AND HE IS BASICALLY DOING HIM

    Reply
    • Lea

      Well said, when do retired and disabled get the help we put in for years. I feel the retired and disabled are forgotten

      Reply
      • Beth

        First off congrats to your son for hanging in there and staying in school. He is the one that gets the student loan or grant. He should qualify for a grant since you are a single Mom and get no help from Dad. When he gets a loan or grant the money goes to the school and it pays his expenses first and what is left is sent to him for whatever other expenses he has. To get a federal load he doesn’t have to have a job or credit. It’s a shame that kids have to pay so much just to get a degree. Our younger just started working on her Masters. Thankfully she got a teacher’s assistant job with the university which will cover most of her tuition. I wish you the best of luck. Any credible college’s financial aid office should be able to help your son even if he is going online.

        Reply
  9. Maria

    Why is it that if you are married to a spouse for 2 to 3 years and they abandon you as far as not wanting you to be a part of the purchase condo that you’re not entitled to their benefits when they die.

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Maria. It sounds like you are referring to surviving divorced spouse benefits. To be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, you had to be married to your former spouse for at least 10 years. For more information on how to qualify for divorced spouse benefits, visit our If You are The Survivor page. 

      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 helps. 

      Reply
  10. Krunal R.

    The Social Security Administration has announced a 1.3% increase in Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits for 2021, a slightly smaller cost-of-living increase (COLA) than the year before

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    Reply

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