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. Mary J.

    When I signed up at 62 for Social Security, I was given a My Social Security account. But now at 66 when I try to log in, it says no account. What do I need to do?

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Mary Jane, thanks for using our blog. We are sorry that you are having difficulty accessing your my Social Security online account. We have established a dedicated my Social Security Hotline. To reach this hotline, call 1-800-772-1213, and say “helpdesk” at the voice prompt. The help desk is available to callers between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. (Eastern Time). You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. Look for the general inquiry telephone number using our Social Security Office Locator link. We hope this helps!

      Reply
  2. John M.

    my 11 yr old grandson father passed away 4 yes ago in November his Father was a recovering drug addict and never really worked his mother works but makes less than 20,000 a year is he eligible for SSI ?

    Reply
    • Jolene C.

      YES

      Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, John. We are sorry to hear about your grandson’s loss. For his 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
  3. Jim

    I have a son who is on SSI and is trying very hard to get back into the work force in a limited basis to see if he can handle the stresses. He gets $725/month on SSI. How much can he earn before he loses part if not all of his benefits?

    Reply
    • Jolene C.

      It all depends on how much he’s making n how many hours he work

      Reply
    • Ann C.

      Hi, Jim. 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. HeYou can call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 8:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m., for assistance. Generally, he will have a shorter wait if he calls later in the day. He can also contact his local Social Security office. We hope this helps.

      Reply
  4. Alicia

    What are the parameters for the adopted children when the adopted parents are deceased? If the children are re-adopted by another family member will the Survivor’s Benefit be reduced because of the adoption subsidy? Or will the child be eligible for both the full adoption subsidy and the full survivor benefit?

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Alicia. Thanks for using our blog. Typically, the adoption of a child already entitled to survivor benefits does not terminate the child’s benefits. For specific questions, please 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  5. surbhi n.

    Reply
  6. James R.

    I’m 62 on November the 5th.I get ssi.But there making me retire.My ex was a RN nurse l was married to 13 years.Shes retired.Will l get a boost on my retirement and the extra did payment??

    Reply
    • Patty

       

      Hi James. Thanks for using our blog to ask your question. To be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, you had to be married to your former spouse for at least 10 years, and you cannot be eligible for a higher benefit on your own record. For more information on how to qualify for divorced spouse benefits, visit our Benefits Planner: If You Are Divorced.

       

      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 information helps.

       

      Reply
  7. Johnathan D.

    Yes i need extra funds form disability

    Reply
  8. Jessica

    I received recovery stimulus for one of my dependents the first and the second but I did not get the third stimulus check and I did not get the first and second and third stimulus checks for another dependent and I’m also getting the child tax credit but I have yet to receive the $500 for my 17 year old dependent could you help me as to what I might do, I know my ex-husband got the third stimulus checks for the dependent so what do I need to do about that when I got the others and and a child takes credit why would they send him the third stimulus

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Jessica. Please visit the IRS website for all your Economic Income Payment-related questions. If you are unable to find the answer, call the IRS hotline at 1-800-919-9835. Thanks!

      Reply
  9. Ann G.

    I m still legally married but have been separated since 2014.i have also been on SSI.since 2018.i was told that my husband was going to file for disability which he has differently worked enough time to draw the SSDI benefits so my question is with him filing do I get a increase in my benefits.or how does that work in my favor.

    Reply
    • Vonda

      Hi Ann, thanks for using our blog. You may be eligible for spouse’s benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. Check out our Benefits For Your Spouse web page for additional details.

      To inquire about potential benefits, 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. Please be aware that our call wait times are longer than normal. We hope this information helps.

      Reply
  10. Fran B.

    My husband is permanently disabled from an industrial accident in 2016. He requires 24 hour care. The state of NC provides 40 hrs a week of home care helpers and pays me hourly for the rest of the time to care for him. I’m not in good health and I wonder if there is any way to get disability for myself in addition to his SSDI payment. I worked for 35 years prior to his accident but had to retire to care for him. I’m 62 and he is 65.

    Reply
    • Patty

      Hi Fran. We are sorry to hear about your situation. Social Security pays disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more. We pay disability benefits through two programs: the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI) and the Supplemental Security Income (SSI) program. To qualify for SSDI benefits, you must have worked long enough and recently enough in jobs covered by Social Security (usually within the last 10 years). The SSI program is a needs based program that gives cash assistance to disabled individuals with limited income and resources. If you think you may be eligible to receive disability benefits and would like to apply, you can use our online disability application.

      Because you are age 62 and under your full retirement age, you can apply for Social Security retirement and disability at the same time. The law does not allow a person to receive both retirement and disability benefits on one earnings record so if you’re approved for disability benefits, which will be higher than your reduced retirement benefit, you would receive disability benefits. However, while the agency is making a medical decision, you may be eligible for reduced retirement benefits. You can apply for retirement benefits online in as little as 15 minutes.

      If you are unable or would rather not apply online, 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.

      Reply

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