Claiming Social Security Retirement Benefits
There are three basic requirements for Social Security retirement benefits. First, a person must file a written application with a Social Security office. Second, the applicant must be fully insured, which means that the person has worked for at least 40 quarters, or ten full years. The third requirement is to be 62 years of age or older.
A Few Other Situations:
- If you already receive benefits as a spouse, your benefit will automatically convert to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death.
- If you are also eligible for retirement benefits, but haven’t applied yet, you have an additional option. You can apply for retirement or survivors benefits now and switch to the other benefit later.
- For those already receiving retirement benefits, you can only apply for benefits as a widow or widower if the retirement benefit you receive is less than the benefits you would receive as a survivor.
If you became entitled to retirement benefits less than 12 months ago, you may be able towithdraw your retirement application and apply for survivors benefits only. If you do that, you can reapply for the retirement benefits later when they will be higher.
Social Security Survivor Benefits Overview
Created by FindLaw’s team of legal writers and editors| Last updated June 20, 2016
While the Social Security system is best known for its retirement benefits, it also provides aid to families of workers who have died. In the unfortunate instance when a worker dies, Social Security survivor benefits can provide important income to survivors. Widows and widowers, divorced surviving spouses, young children, and even dependent parents of a worker may be entitled to receive monthly benefits.
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Long Island Estate Planning Lawyers
The Social Security Administration provides four types of Social Security benefits: retirement, disability, dependents, and survivor benefits. Survivor benefits are available to the children and spouses, among certain other relatives, of deceased individuals who qualify.
If you qualify for retirement or disability benefits, your spouse and children have the right to obtain survivor benefits when you pass away. You also have a right to receive survivor benefits upon your spouses death if your spouse is qualified for Social Security benefits.
Requirements for Survivor Benefits
For your spouse and children to get such benefits upon your death, you and your family must meet specific requirements:
- You must be qualified for Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Older adults must have worked long enough in many cases, at least 10 years to earn 40 credits. Workers can earn up to four credits each year, depending on their income.
- However, people who die young may need fewer credits for their spouse and children to acquire survivor benefits. In some cases, spouses and children of workers with at least one-and-a-half credits earned in the three years preceding their death can get survivor benefits.
- Your children must be under 18 or disabled.
- Your spouse can receive survivor benefits at age 60, or 50 if they are disabled.
Other Family Members May Be Eligible
Can Same-Sex Spouses Receive These Benefits?
Can Surviving Divorced Spouses Get These Benefits?
Tulsa Social Security Lawyer Explains Ssdi Death Benefits
The death of a loved one is devastating, especially when he or she provided significant financial support to your family. To help Oklahoma families in this situation, the Social Security Administration provides options for survivor disability benefits to qualifying relatives, including benefits based on disability. Depending on the circumstances, you may be able to claim these benefits even if you are not disabled. You may also be able to get benefits even if you are already collecting SSDI benefits for yourself.
OurTulsa Social Security Disability lawyers have experience handling all types of disability law claims. From the initial application to appealing wrongful denials, we are there for our clients every step of the way. We know the laws can be confusing and overwhelming during an already difficult time. Still, Social Security survivor benefits are available for you to claim, which can help alleviate economic stresses.
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Social Security For Surviving Spouses
The death of a spouse is never easy. A death can result in serious and long-term changes, and to help cope with these changes, it is important to receive counsel or advice from a legal professional that can help explain any survivor benefits that may be available to you.
Understanding Your Benefits
A variety of benefits may be available to surviving spouses based on the Social Security earnings of the deceased spouse. In order to obtain these benefits, certain requirements must be met.
If a widow or widower becomes disabled, the following requirements must be met to collect Social Security disability benefits:
- You must be at least 50 years of age
- Your condition must be defined as a disability by the SSA under the SSDI guidelines
- Your disability must occur within seven years of your spouses death
- Your spouse must have qualified for Social Security based on work requirements at the time of his or her death.
Survivor benefits are also available in age and child-in-care situations. Rules regarding these benefits and the requirements for them are very specific. Additional rules may apply to surviving spouses who are divorced or married.
Determining Your Retirement Benefit
Every wage earner who meets the eligibility requirements for benefits is entitled to monthly benefits based on their primary insurance amount . Your PIA is based on the wages you made in your 35 highest-earning years. To find out what your primary insurance amount will be, you can ask at the Social Security office, check your Social Security statement, or log into your Social Security account on www.ssa.gov. The average retirement benefit for someone who reaches full retirement age in 2021 is about $1,543 per month. The maximum retirement benefit for someone claiming benefits at full retirement age in 2021 is $3,148 per month.
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When Do You Notify The Ssa Of A Death
If your loved one has died, the SSA wants to be notified as soon as possible. Can I report a death online? No, you cannot. The SSA requires that survivors report a death by calling the SSA directly. In most situations, the funeral home reports the workers death to the SSA.
If you want the funeral home to make the report for you, you should give them home your loved ones Social Security number and they can report the death to the SSA promptly.
Who may receive survivors benefits?
- A widow or widower who is 50 or older if they are disabled
- A widow or widower who is 60 or older
- Under certain circumstances, surviving divorced spouses
- Widows and widowers of any age who are caring for the decedents child who is disabled and receiving benefits on the decedents record, or who are under the age of 16
- Unmarried children of the deceased worker who are under the age of 18, or up to 19 if they are full-time students in an elementary or secondary school or
- Unmarried children who became disabled before the age of 22.
Under some circumstances, stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and parents age 62 or older who depended on their deceased son or daughter for at least half of their support may be eligible for survivors benefits. To learn more about disability or survivors benefits, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC today.
Qualifying For Survivor Benefits
Not all widows or widowers are eligible to receive social security survivors benefits. When you meet with us, we will give you an honest assessment of your case and your legal options. We do not charge legal fees for a consultation, so you have nothing to lose by speaking with us.
Widows or widowers must meet these qualifications to receive disability benefits:
- Be at least 50 years old if you have a disability or at least 60 years old if you do not
- Have been married for at least a decade to a spouse who was covered by SSDI at the time of his or her passing
- Have been married to a spouse who received benefits for at least seven years prior to his or her death
If you satisfy these requirements, there are other factors that may affect the percentage of the benefits that you are entitled to receive.
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Why Should I Hire A Widows Attorney
Many people choose to hire an attorney when they are seeking widows or widowers benefits. While you are not required to have an attorney, there are many benefits to having one on your side.
For example, an attorney can help you gather the evidence you need to prove your case. They can also help you navigate the complex legal process and ensure that you meet all of the deadlines. In addition, an attorney can negotiate with the Social Security Administration on your behalf.
Hiring an attorney can give you peace of mind during this difficult time. At Roeschke Law, LLC, we are here to help. We will work tirelessly on your behalf to help you get the widows or widowers benefits you need and deserve. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at 906-2556.
What Does It Mean To Have A Child In Care
Applicants do not have to meet the age requirements for survivors benefits when they have a child in care. If you are taking care of a child of the deceased spouse who is under the age of 16 or disabled, you will meet the child-in-care exception. The Social Security Administration calculates child in care benefits differently than they calculate survivors benefits. Additionally, earning limits apply to any child in care benefits you receive before your Full Retirement Age.
Why Hire A Social Security & Disability Attorney
Social Security lawyers most often help clients get disability benefits in the form of SSDI and SSI . These lawyers can also offer help with Social Security Retirement and Survivors Benefits claims.While it is helpful to hire an Social Security attorney to help apply for disability benefits, a lawyer is most valuable when your disability claim has been denied. At this point, the attorney can help you navigate the disability appeals process, from crafting an argument for the initial appeal, to representing you at the administrative hearing stage in front of the ALJ . Most disability claims are won at the appeals stage, and a lawyer will prove invaluable. Additionally, lawyers fees are only paid from a winning claim, so applicants need not worry about having to pay a lawyer to help them.
Widows And Widowers Benefits Lawyers In Los Angeles Helping You Get Through A Difficult Time
Losing a spouse is one of the most difficult things that a person can go through. Not only are you grieving the loss of the most important person in your life, but you are also facing all of the logistical and financial challenges that come with being a widow or widower. Thankfully, there are widows and widowers benefits available to help you through this difficult time. Hiring a widows and widowers benefits lawyer in Los Angeles is an important start to your new journey.
At Roeschke Law, LLC, our team of compassionate and experienced attorneys has helped many people obtain the widows and widowers benefits they need to get through this tough time. We understand how overwhelming this process can be, which is why we are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a consultation at 906-2556 and see what we can do to get you the social security survivor benefits youre entitled to.
What About Social Security Survivor Benefits
Social Security does not only provide insurance protection to contributing workers who are disabled and unable to work. The program also provides a life insurance portion to the dependents of deceased workers who have contributed to the program as well. In fact, according to U.S. government publications, more than 98% of children in the U.S. are covered by this insurance plan, and Social Security sends more money to American children than any other public or private program.
Who Is Eligible For Social Security Survivors Benefits?
Members of the immediate family are typically eligible to receive benefits. Widowed spouses, children, dependent parents, and a few others are usually eligible.
Unmarried children who are under the age of 18 are eligible to receive benefits. If the unmarried child is 19 or less, he or she may be eligible for benefits if still enrolled in secondary school. If a child is disabled before reaching the age of 22 and remains disabled, he or she can also receive benefits.
If a dependent parent of the deceased worker is age 62 or older, then that dependent parent is also able to get benefits.
The surviving spouse can receive benefits in full until they reach age 65, as long as they were born before 1940. If the surviving spouse is also disabled, then benefits can begin as early as age 50.
How Much Are The Survivors Benefits?
Consult Our Widow Benefits Lawyers And Survivorship Lawyers For Free
Do you have questions about widow and survivor benefits? If so, walk into our El Paso, Dallas, Austin or Phoenix office today for a FREE consultation with our attorneys. Or, if you prefer, you can call us locally today at El Paso 533-9718, Dallas -319-6800 or Austin 371-1990 or Phoenix 251-4097. We charge no lawyer fees unless we recover benefits for you, and we accept walk-in appointments at any time.
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Mother’s Or Father’s Benefit
The surviving spouse of a deceased worker who is taking care of a child of the deceased worker is eligible for what’s known as the “mother’s benefit” or the “father’s benefit.” The mother or father must be taking care of a child under age 16 or disabled. For information on calculating benefits, see our article on spousal disability benefits.
Who Can Get Social Security Survivor Benefits For A Coronavirus Death
Some of the deceaseds family members may be able to receive Social Security benefits if the deceased person worked long enough to qualify for benefits. The best way to determine if you are eligible for survivor benefits is to contact the SSA directly, or to discuss your situation with one of our experienced Social Security attorneys.
However, here are some general guidelines as to who may qualify for Social Security Survivor Benefits:
One-time lump sum payment of $255
- Surviving spouse if they were living with the deceased
- Surviving spouse if living apart but were eligible for certain Social Security benefits on the deceaseds record
- If no surviving spouse, a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceaseds record in the month of death
Monthly Social Security Survivor Benefits
- A widow or widower age 60 or older
- A widow or widower any age caring for the deceaseds child who is under age 16 or disabled
- An unmarried child of the deceased who is:
- Younger than age 18 OR
- Age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22
Under certain limited circumstances a surviving divorced spouse, and/or a stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child may also qualify for Social Security death benefits.
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What Are Social Security Death Benefits
Social Security Death Benefits are paid to widows, widowers, and dependents of a deceased eligible worker. This benefit, meant to assist with a familys financial burden of losing the lost loved ones income, is particularly important for young families with children.Monthly benefit amounts are based on the earnings of the person who died. The more they paid into Social Security, the higher your benefits would be. This amount is a percentage of the deceaseds basic Social Security benefit.Additionally, a one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she is living with the deceased or if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceaseds record. When there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits.
How To Apply For Benefits
You should not wait until you have all the required documentation to contact the office, but rather gather as much of the following information possible before your appointment:
- A death certificate or documentation from a funeral home showing proof of death.
- Your birth certificate.
- The Social Security number of the deceased worker.
- A marriage certificate, if you are applying as a widow or widower.
- A divorce decree if you are applying as a divorced widow or widower.
- The Social Security numbers of any dependent children, as well as their birth certificates.
- The most recent W-2 forms of the deceased worker.
- Your bank account number and the name of the bank if you want to have funds directly deposited.
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Social Security Disability Insurance
These benefits are given to people who have worked the required minimum and above. This minimum requires that a person have a certain number of credits within the Social Security system. With Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, individuals become eligible for Medicare if they are found to be disabled. If it is found that a person is already a recipient, or if they are going to be a recipient of Supplemental Security Income, they are eligible for Medicaid.
Minor Or Child With A Disability
If you are the unmarried child under age 18 of a worker who dies, you can be eligible to receive Social Security survivors benefits. You can also be eligible, if you are up to age 19 and attending elementary or secondary school full time.
Besides the worker’s natural children, their stepchildren, grandchildren, step grandchildren, or adopted children may receive benefits under certain circumstances.