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

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  1. Pamela H.

    I receive Social Security benefits. But my husband was also receiving higher benefit payments. He passed away in June and I understood I would receive his benefit payment and would lose my monthly benefit. So far I am still receiving only my benefit payment. I checked my bank account and I only show a deposit of my benefit payment. How long should I wait until I begin receiving my husband’s payment?

    Reply
    • Patty

      We are very sorry for your loss, Pamela. If your husband worked long enough under Social Security, there may be benefits payable to survivors. You may be eligible for reduced widows benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled) and at any age if caring for the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving benefits on the deceased’s record. Survivor benefit amounts are based on your husband’s earnings. The more he paid into Social Security, the higher the benefits would be. The benefits will not be established automatically, you will have to contact us. For additional information, visit our Survivors Planner.

      To apply for survivor 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
  2. McDuffy O.

    I Talked to Ms. Battle in July 22, 2021 about my Social Security, that i file in January of this year doing all this paperwork and nothing have been SOLVED yet. On July 28, 2021 i received a letter includes the benefits due to me through June payment was $1705.00. After that i will get a check each month for $1705.00. I got another letter in August 5, 2021 they received my request that we not collect the overpayment. I will receive benefits as follows until we respond to me request. 09/03 $1,061.50, after paying my rent, I’M not getting any help from SOCIAL SERVICE my breakdown cost per week $240.00 per week food cost going up i need to get this issue solved i have did everything that they asked me to do and I’M tired of begging. Is this how SOCIAL SECURITY ADMINISTRATION WORK. For every $1.00 that i made i have to pay my government $2.00 BACK TO THE GOVERNMENT and when you can’t get help you need and get penalized both ways. WHAT DO I HAVE TO DO I HAVE TO GO AND GET A HEARING TO GET THIS THIS RESOLVED. The Camp Springs office is shouldn’t take this long toget this thing settled.

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi McDuffy. We apologize for the difficult time you are experiencing working with Social Security. We have referred your complaint to our Office of Operations to follow up and to take corrective action as necessary. We hope this matter is resolved soon.

      Reply
  3. Leslie B.

    My husband and I have only received half of the 1st and 2nd payments . Our bills are getting higher.We only recieve my husband’s disability each month . In He is 66 and I 62 . I don’t know how to file Social security ,and we would like to receive other half of payments we haven’t received .

    Reply
    • Vonda

      For your security, Leslie, 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
  4. Doris D.

    My name is Doris. I’ve been trying to reach social security to speak with someone. I changed my phone number about a month ago. I’m still waiting on that letter with the code. I tried calling on 9/21/2021 but was kept on hold so long. So I went to the website followed the instructions to have another letter resend. The message I got was “sorry we’re unable to process your request at this time.” I cannot log into my account. All I wanted to do is update my cellphone number. Please tell me what to do next. Thank you

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Doris. We are sorry that you are having difficulty accessing your personal my Social Security account.  You may call us at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. At the voice prompt, say “helpdesk”; or 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
  5. Richard S.

    I get $1459.00 monthly . My wife get $460.00 monthly payments for ssi retirement . This is only income we both get . Would be possible to not to withhold my wife’s Medicare insurance deductions because of our low income. I am a Vietnam era US Army vet and I do not receive ANY cash benefits for my service .

    I am 79 & my wife is 74 years old
    Debwani1@ Hotmail.com

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Richard, thanks for using our blog. You may want to apply for Extra Help with Medicare prescription drug plan costs. The Extra Help is estimated to be worth about $5,000 per year. To qualify for the Extra Help, a person must be receiving Medicare, have limited resources and income, and reside in one of the 50 States or the District of Columbia. In addition to the Extra Help, you may be able to get help from your State with other Medicare costs under the Medicare Savings Programs. By completing the Extra Help application, you will start your application process for a Medicare Savings Program. We will send information to your State who will contact you to help you apply for a Medicare Savings Program unless you tell us not to when you complete the application.

      If you need information about Medicare Savings Programs, Medicare Prescription Drug plans or how to enroll in a plan, call 1-800-MEDICARE (TTY 1-877-486-2048) or visit http://www.medicare.gov. You also can request information about how to contact your State Health Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program (SHIP). The SHIP offers help with your Medicare questions. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  6. Smithdawn851@gmail.com

    I’m owed from 10/2007 -4/2012 780.00 a month and in feb 2019 I was able to get worker to start a claim again in March 2020 and in may 2021i was told 60 days now iv had 2 interviews for this back payment we’ll on sept 16 2021 my phone stopped working not that the lady was helping me in this area but I’m owed about 80,000.00my kids were to receive benefits I’m always told that worker Comp,child support and that’s another thing treasury department has collect 433.00 a month support from me that was court ordered to be paid to me I’m always denied in June 2019 I finally got a lawyer for case and social security denies me a attorney then from 2012 to 2/2019 monthly benefits were deducted for child support I don’t owe I have all the papers for proof they won’t let me come in to see thank you dawn smith 954-226-2059 my dad was in navy and my mom I get theres

    Reply
    • Debra R.

      I’m sorry about your situation. I had to hire a lawyer to get my benefits. I simply went in to the office to sign waiver forms so they could get the information they needed to work my case. I literally didn’t have to do anything at all they handled everything. I had my benefits, payments, backpay everything within 3-4 months tops. I went with Wayne Wright and SSA kept denying me with a compressed T7 spine fracture and constant pain for the rest of my life. There is no surgery for me the risks outweigh the benefits but it’s just getting worse and worse. My pain management Dr. said he has nothing else to do for me like for real. What am I supposed to do? By the way its a compressed fracture of the T7 spine so that is between my shoulder blades so everything I lift or do with my hands or upper body it affects the fracture. I have to just monitor myself daily and try not to do so much. I have seen many Orthopedic Drs., many neurologists, chiropractors. Is there any help out there for me I need a miracle. My T7 spine is crushed I’m super happy and grateful for being able to walk and feed my self because it was just I think a miracle because it did not affect my spinal cord at all THANK YOU JESUS! I’ve done as much as I can and I’m only 43 years young. I have 3 beautiful wonderful boys and I had another son that I miscarried at 5 months. It hurt me very bad and Ramiro gave him his name. That was very special of him to do that. I wonder how he would have been right now. I miss all my babies so much I don’t know what to do. Physically, mentally I don’t know what to do and I want my babies. What can I do to get them. They are my world and without my world I’m nothing.

      Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Dawn, thanks for using our blog. 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 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
  7. Tony u.

    Pls call me at 909 757 9933.

    Reply
  8. Dorothy M.

    I live in Baltimore, MD. He and I have not been allowed too much opportunity to earn money; I am retired and wanted to go back to work when my Mother died (was killed in the nursing home.) I went to the courts about that, but got no help. I have tried to get employs and the local gangs just stop my efforts to earn money; aside from them, there is an anti-white movement and many of my friends and family are missing, were killed, or put into slavery in foreign lands and in USA. Half the population of Baltimore is gone. I want to move, but feel entrapped, needing surgery and afraid or made afraid to go. Someone even shot the son of the doctor I was to see for the first time. Brutalizing children as human sacrifices or brutal murders is no stranger to this area. A few months back two little girls were killed in gruesome ways, I did hear. The police dont have the power they use to have: no dogs, no SWAT team, cant go into 70k vacant houses even if rape or murder is going on. Police must get the okay to arrest by Hogan. So what can they do? This is a sham with a hidden agenda. Money gifted to me they will steal; they have broken up $5k piano my brother wanted to give my son; we are barely able to talk to one another. Women in our family have been raped; they come back to steal the babies~no one stops them! I just heard my nieces father was shot at. I heard the shot; no answer at the SWPD. People have suffered with this holocaust like no other: worse than WWII, worse than USA slavery-more people, worse crimes against them than ever heard of, like Satan is doing this, so diabolic, so much deception. Have you heard about this on the news in the last 30 years? I am scared for my brilliant son’s well being as he goes to a dishwasher job just to bring money in. I am scared for my own life, too. Trumps side tries to keep us down. My family has tried to give me money & they’ve been robbed or worse. Chatter goes around that they are going to put people into slavery, Catonsville’s home depot and lidl grocery store already has had slaves from Canada to work for $8-10 a day and may be put in a Spartan, locked apartment to be used when needed. Many have been separated from their families for decades and can not contact them. I was hoping I could had gotten the $3700 stipend for homeowners; I or my deceased Mom has paid the mortgage for almost 26 years. We have never missed a payment beyond the grace period. I have made a business out of science cards but people are afraid to buy from me I suspect. I have invested about $1,000 a little at a time and made about $15. Others have made money at this. I wish I had 10 good salespeople, and I could make the cards. Suggestions?

    Reply
  9. High M.

    You can create a debit card by trying a real free real credit card numbers.

    Reply
  10. Garney T.

    Eligible for Increased Benefits are awesome. Thanks for sharing this. Here are some tips for using a website.

    Reply

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