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. Marcus S.

    Social security in 1993 were supposed to distribute my black lung benefits before labor dept. Supposedly took over in 1997,documented that child in 2010 was ready to receive in 11/21/2010 part C , records disappeared from IVES SYSTEM ,GIVE ME THAT WHICH I HAVE BEEN ALLOTTED FOR MY FAMILY.

    Reply
  2. Christina B.

    I have applied 8x and been denied. I filed appeals, had an attorney and a hearing before a judge. I have YEARS of provider documentation for several mental health diagnosis AND chronic pain. I have had to find a way to work to support my child only making symptoms worse. Even my SS account shows history that I cannot maintain sustainable income even though I try my best. It’s terrifying at 41 that I cannot get assistance to just focus on my health so I can work, FT for longer than a year. If the system was set up to actually help those who try vs rewarding those who don’t, the working wouldn’t be so angry that our tax $$ pay for this. I see it like this, I’ve tried to PREVENT worsening symptoms while working enough to survive, if I keep going this way, I will be COMPLETELY disabled living off the government for EVERYTHING. We essentially enable people to not TRY by giving assistance to ONLY those who don’t TRY. How does that make sense?

    Reply
  3. John B.

    How is it fair that someone who has never held a regular job or not many can qualify for disability insurance benefits after being determined disabled.but someone like myself who has worked since 1960s and owned a business the last 33years, doesn’t have enough work credits?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi John, thanks for using our blog. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program and the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program. SSI is a needs-based program that provides cash assistance to disabled adults and children who have limited income and resources. Also, SSI benefits are payable to people 65 and older without disabilities, who meet the financial limits.

      When it comes to qualifying for disability benefits under the Social Security Disability Income, or SSDI program, individuals must have worked long enough–and recently enough–under Social Security to qualify for disability benefits. Generally, you need 40 credits, 20 of which you have to earn within the last 10 years before you become disabled.

      If you have specific questions about your situation, you can 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. DebbieFad

    Why send me this dang email? (You and Your Family May Be Eligible for Increased Benefits) It doesn’t apply to me in any way and it takes too long to read thru it to see if I do apply. All this Social Security, Medicare, Added Insurance is too complicated. I get so frustrated.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Debbie, thanks for using our blog. You received that email because you subscribe to the Social Security blog.  

      You can call us at 1-800-772-1213 for any questions that you may have 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.  We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  5. Tammy m.

    When I got my ss I was told no backpay because I was determined to be disabled on the day my hearing was and only got 270 a month I refiled couple of years later and was denied any more money because I had 13 dollars over the limit in my bank which came from a stimulus check which I didn’t think was supposed to be counted it is hard trying to survive on this amount since I have no other income can I don’t think it was right to say I was disabled but only from the day of my hearing I feel I was shafted what say you and can I reapply to get more income monthly

    Reply
    • Vonda

      For your security, Tammy, 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 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
  6. Josephmichael D.

    I was denied for owning a motorcycle. The ONLY thing I owned until my 10 year work history fell off then I received the minimum amount, and only a few months back pay. I worked with an advocate, and came to find out that the disability determinations lady that did my assessment lied. Blatantly. Said I lived in someone else’s home, someone else paid for all my meals and my landlord put 325.00 a month in my propane tank year round. Who uses 325 dollars a month in propane a month? I called the national office, they told me to take proof to the local office. The lady at the window was overwhelmed by what I was explaining, so I asked for her supervisor. Turns out it’s the same lady that lied on my paper work and repeatedly denied me to begin with simply for owning a bike as my primary vehicle. Then screamed at and cussed me, and refused to file my paperwork. Outright discrimination and where is the employee penalties for lying on on federal documents? So I draw the minimum, despite having excellent work history until I became disabled. If I had the correct back pay and benefit amount, my life would be manageable, but thanks to no recourse of action, I am impoverished, have to choose between bills and food, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg

    Reply
    • Rachel

      I’m sorry to hear about this. Maybe you can sign up for Legal Shield! It’s less than $40 a month and you could use it for this one instance then cancel it! The attorneys on there are amazingly helpful! there is even an app where you can submit your docs via your phone. easy to upload..

      Reply
      • Coco

        Don’t pay for legal service. Call legal aide. It’s free.. and there great.. God bless and good luck

        Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, JosephMichael. We are sorry to hear about your experience and situation. We are sorry to hear about your experience. You can submit feedback by visiting our Contact Social Security page. Once there, select the “Email Us” link. This will take you to the “Email A Question to our Support Team” form where you can complete and submit a compliment, complaint, or suggestion. We hope this helps.

      Reply
      • Eddie J.

        Hello,
        My name is Eddie James Houston. I wish to register a complaint about the ONLINE SIGN UP. I started a application and the next night completed another application. The only application can be found is the application started…

        Reply
        • Vonda

          For your security, Eddie, we do not have access to private information in this venue. Please 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. We hope this information helps.

          Reply
    • Becca

      I feel ya totally..but why ddnt you report her and go over her head? Everybody has a boss over them..even the boss..

      Reply
    • Cynthia M.

      These programs are so broken like our country. It is a wonder so many believe it is viable. We haven’t been a legit country since before I was born. I got my disability for PTSD for being abducted by Grey Aliens. I have been doing research on the whole rotten lot and it has been bad for 57 years. Good luck my friend!!!

      Reply
  7. smith

    Cool details. you can also visit our blog KamranIsrar which is related to jobs and Education.

    Reply
    • christ c.

      that’s just out right wrong for peoples in power to do other Like that! they need to have to answer to some higher up, over them . Liar will have their part in the Lake which burns with fire and brimstone .

      Reply
  8. John

    very nice information on this topic. you can also visit our blog PMHelpline which is related to jobs and Education.

    Reply
    • Ccc

      Why are yall paying $700 each month. We need $7000

      Reply
  9. Deborah

    both parents are dead and I was told that being the only child I should be able to get payment’s off there SSA , but I don’t know I am disabled and I get SSA and SSI , my SSA is more than my SSI , I can’t seem to find anything that tell’s me that I could or could not .

    Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Deborah. We are sorry to hear about your loss.  A disabled child already receiving disability benefits, may be eligible for benefits if a parent is deceased or starts receiving retirement or disability benefits. The disabled adult child must be unmarried, age 18 or older, and have a disability that started before age 22, and meet the definition of disability for adults. We will evaluate their disability the same way we would evaluate the disability for any adult. We send the application to the Disability Determination Services (DDS) in your state that completes the disability decision for us. For specifc questions, please contact your local Social Security office for assistance. We hope this helps.

       

       

      Reply
  10. Sandra

    My father passed away September 1,2016 .he had a step daughter that was mentally impaired . Him and his wife (4th) claimed her on his ss and now that both him and my step mother has passed .the person receiving the mentally impaired check they are receiving off my dad. Why can they do that only reason my dad claimed her is because she reviewed more from him.but she isn’t his blood daughter .why shouldn’t they be getting lesser money from her mothers ss? I feel it’s wrong in everyday. They shouldn’t benefit from my dads hard work . Is there anyway to fight this ? I’m not bitter at the mentally impaired step sister but the people receiving her check uses it to Benitez themselves not her. They keep her so doped up now and she dont see a dime . Very frustrated

    Reply
    • Sandra

      Benefit not Benitez

      Reply

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