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Social Security Survivor Benefits Denied

What Is A Social Security Card

VIDEO: Lesbian denied spouse’s Social Security survivor’s benefits, attorney’s say

Your Social Security card is an important piece of identification. You’ll need one to get a job, collect Social Security, or receive other government benefits.

When you apply for a Social Security number , the Social Security Administration will assign you a nine-digit number. This is the same number that is printed on the Social Security card that SSA will issue you. If you change your name, you will need to get a corrected card.

Lump Sum Death Benefit

First, lets deal with the one-time payment formerly called a funeral benefit. Upon the death of a Social Security beneficiary, the Social Security Administration pays a lump-sum death payment of $255. Needless to say, the $255 one time payment doesnt quite cover the cost of a funeral. Its been stuck at that level for several years and inflation has significantly eroded its useful value.

There are three categories of people who may receive the death payment:

  • A surviving spouse, who was residing with the deceased spouse, or
  • A surviving spouse, who was not residing with the deceased, but was receiving benefits based upon the work record of the deceased spouse, or who becomes eligible for benefits after the death of the spouse, or
  • A surviving child, who was receiving benefits based upon the work records of the deceased parent, or who becomes eligible for benefit after the death of the parent. The payment is divided evenly among all eligible children.
  • If there are no eligible survivors in either of these three categories, then no death benefit is paid.

    Even though $255 isnt a lot, who wants to pass on money thats rightfully theirs? If the eligible spouse or child is not receiving benefits at the time of death, they must apply for benefits within two years in order to receive the death payment.

    Workers Who Retire In Certain Foreign Countries

    U.S. citizens who travel toor live inmost foreign countries after they retire usually can receive Social Security benefits. However, if that country is Azerbaijan, Belarus, Cuba, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, North Korea, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, or Uzbekistan, then the government will not send them Social Security payments. Exceptions may be available in all of these countries except Cuba and North Korea. The governments Payments Abroad Screening Tool is an easy way to check if you will be able to continue receiving Social Security benefits while living abroad or if restrictions will apply.

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    The History Of Lgbtq+ Survivor Benefits

    Even when same-sex marriage was legalized across the U.S., the Social Security Administration was still denying some of these claims, according to BusinessInsider.com. In 2018, law firm Lambda Legal represented an LGBTQ+ widow and widower in two separate Supreme Court cases to secure the Social Security survivors benefits they deserved. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the survivors, but then-president Donald Trump appealed the ruling, BusinessInsider.com reported.

    In February 2022, the Biden Administration removed the appeals. Survivor benefits finally became available to LGBTQ+ couples.

    Try This Life Expectancy Calculator For Social Security

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    Retirement benefit calculations are based on extensive actuarial studies and data. As a service to the public, the Social Security Administration has developed a simple Life Expectancy Calculator that allows you to plug in your gender and date of birth to get a rough estimate of how long you may live.

    Knowing this information may help you in deciding when the right time is to apply for retirement benefits.

    To use the Calculator, go to

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    Apply For Survivors Benefits

    You should notify us immediately when a person dies. However, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online.

    In most cases, the funeral home will report the persons death to us. You should give the funeral home the deceased persons Social Security number if you want them to make the report.

    If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 . You can speak to a Social Security representative between 8:00 a.m. 7:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can find the phone number for your local office by using our Social Security Office Locator and looking under Social Security Office Information. The toll-free Office number is your local office.

    If you are not getting benefits

    If you are not getting benefits, you should apply for survivors benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive.

    If you are getting benefits

    If you are getting benefits on your spouse’s or parent’s record:

    • You generally will not need to file an application for survivors benefits.
    • We’ll automatically change any monthly benefits you receive to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death.
    • We may be able to pay the automatically.

    If you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record:

    • You will need to apply for the survivors benefits.
    • We will check to see whether you can get a higher benefit as a widow or widower.

    How To Access Social Security Survivor Benefits Even If Youve Been Denied Before

    You can schedule an appointment to apply for surviving spouse benefits by calling 1-800-772-1213, according to SSA.gov. Thanks to the Supreme Court ruling, you may even receive back benefits if your application was previously denied because same-sex marriage was not recognized in your state.

    Whether you are re-applying, appealing a claim or applying for the first time, you may have to bring documentation showing that you were married at the time of your spouses death, BusinessInsider.com reports.

    BusinessInsider.com mentions using the Social Security emergency message codes EM 21007 SEN REV code 529 or EM-20046 SEN REV 2 when you call to expedite the application or appeal process.

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    Social Security Retirement Benefits


    Workers who have worked in covered employment for a sufficient number of years are eligible for retirement benefits when they retire at age 62. This usually means you must have worked a total of at least ten years of work at a nongovernmental job.

    The Social Security Administration keeps a database of your earnings record and work credits, tracking both through your Social Security number. You can see this information on your Social Security Statement, which is available to everyone age 25 and over. The Social Security Statement also gives you an estimate of the benefits youll receive at retirement age, which can play an important role in your financial planning.

    Up until 2011, the SSA mailed annual Social Security Statements to everyone age 25 and over . Now you need to go online to get a copy of your statement or view it online, unless you are over age 60 and not yet collecting Social Security benefits. You can open an account with Social Security to view your statement.

    When Can I Start Collecting?

    The Social Security Administration used to consider 65 to be full retirement age for the retirement benefit. Benefits amounts were calculated on the assumption that most workers will stop working full time and will claim retirement benefits when they reach age 65.

    Retirement Age for Those Born After 1937

    67 years

    Benefit Amount Calculation

    Survivors Are Subject To An Earnings Limit If They Claim The Benefit Before Reaching Full Retirement Age

    Social Security Benefits Denied

    One of the most difficult and essential duties of a financial adviser is to help a client cope with the death of a spouse. Among the myriad financial decisions that a new widow or widower must make is if, when and how to claim Social Security survivor benefits. Several advisers contacted me over the holidays with questions about survivor benefits.

    Barbara in Omaha said shes working with a recent widow whos 63. Her spouse died last July, also age 63. Neither had claimed Social Security yet.

    I have had a terrible time getting answers from Social Security Administration on the topic, including disconnected calls and one less-than-polite SSA rep, she wrote. The widow has a small Social Security benefit of $930 per month at her full retirement age. Her spouse would have had a benefit of $2,300 per month.

    My question is: Can the widow take discounted benefits on her own record and then at her full retirement age switch to the full retirement age survivor benefit of $2,300? she asked. I had someone at Social Security tell me she could not do that. But language from the Social Security website regarding widow benefits made me believe she could.

    Thats the situation another adviser, Ryan from outside of Boston, faced with one of his clients.

    Ex-spouses who were married at least 10 years before divorcing and who are single or who waited until age 60 or later to remarry may also be eligible for survivor benefits.

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    When A Family Member Dies

    We should be notified as soon as possible when a person dies. However, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online.

    If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 . You can speak to one of our representatives between 8:00 am 7:00 pm. Monday through Friday. You can also contact your local Social Security office.

    Types Of Medicaid Benefits

    There are different types of Medicaid benefits. There are benefits for children as well as for adults. In some situations, adults are able to receive Medicaid because their children receive Medicaid. In other instances, a disabled adult without children can receive Medicaid benefits if they meet the required definition of the regulations that define Supplemental Security Income.

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    Other Social Security Benefits

    Most people in Fulton County are familiar with Social Security retirement benefits. Workers who pay FICA tax for approximately ten years become eligible to receive benefits when they reach retirement age. Spouses and former spouses of workers may also receive benefits.

    Social Security also pays survivor benefits to spouses and children of someone who has passed away. Survivor benefits for children generally stop at age 18 or 19 unless the child is disabled.

    Social Security Administration Cannot Contact You

    Judge Sides with Same

    When you apply for disability benefits, SSA will contact you to discuss your application. They will send you several forms concerning your condition and your work history. SSA may also want to schedule a consultative examination or speak with you directly about your treating providers. If SSA cannot reach you they will most likely deny your claim. If you move or change your phone number during the application process, be sure to let your representative or someone at SSA know about the change.

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    Review By The Appeals Council

    If you disagree with the hearing decision, you may ask for a review by the Social Securitys Appeals Council.

    The appeals council looks at all requests for review, but the council may deny a request if they believe the hearing decision was correct. However, if they decide to review your case, the council will either decide your case itself or return it to an administrative law judge for further review.

    If the Appeals Council denies your request for review or makes a decision, the Social Security Administration will send you a letter explaining the outcome.

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    Questions About Survivor Disability Benefits Ask Our Tulsa Social Security Lawyers

    Claiming survivor disability benefits are one small way you can begin to adjust to life after losing a loved one. Our husband and wife team of disability attorneys in Oklahoma knows the power of family. This is why we provide our clients with opportunities to maximize their Social Security survivor disability benefits.

    If you need assistance with the application for survivor disability benefits or understanding your right to file a disability claim, thencontact our Tulsa SSDI attorneys to receive help today.

    Remember to report the passing of your loved one as soon as possible to the SSA. If the individual who passed away received disability benefits the month he or she died, you must return this payment. Our disability attorneys can guide you throughout the survivor disability benefits process.

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    Based on your description, your wife’s PIA is apparently well over half as much as your PIA, in which case she wouldn’t be eligible for any spousal benefits, though she could be eligible for a widow’s benefit if you predecease her. Best, Larry

    What can I do about social security withholding my benefits to recover an overpayment?

    Hi Larry, I am 66.5 and started collecting my retirement benefit at 62. SSA keeps saying they overpaid me. I can’t get them to tell me why and when they overpaid me. They keep reducing my benefits. Please help me. I can’t make ends meet. Thanks, Cheri

    Hi Cheri, the most common cause of Social Security retirement benefit overpayments is earnings in excess of the Social Security earnings test exempt amount. I have no way of knowing if that’s what happened in your case though.

    In any event, you should have received a notice explaining the overpayment. If you didn’t, the only way to get a copy of the notice is from Social Security. If your local Social Security offices are closed, the only way to communicate with them is by phone or by mail.

    Your options with regard to overpayments are to a) pay the overpayment back or allow your benefits to be withheld in full until the overpayment is repaid, or b) request a lower withholding rate, or c) file an appeal, or d) file for waiver of the overpayment.

    Could I have been getting my deceased husband’s social security?

    The Basics About Survivors Benefits

    Social Security Survivor Benefits Explained 2022

    . If you are working and paying into Social Security, some of those taxes you pay are for survivors benefits. Your spouse, children, and parents could be eligible for benefits based on your earnings.

    . You and your family could be eligible for benefits based on the earnings of a worker who died. The deceased person must have worked long enough to qualify for benefits.

    For more information, please read .

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    Why Are Widow And Widower Disability Benefits Important

    The SSA offers widow and widower disability benefits in recognition of the fact that there is often a significant earning discrepancy between spouses and recognition of the fact that often one spouse is financially supported by the other.

    Since both eligibility and the amount of SSDI benefits are determined based on your work history, you could be at a serious disadvantage if you stayed home during the course of your marriage or if your spouse was the primary breadwinner in your family. Social Security disability widow or widowers benefits can help ensure that you have the money you need to take care of yourself when disabled, even if your spouse is no longer alive.

    Widow and widowers benefits are an important social safety net for families where the spouse who was the breadwinner is deceased and the surviving spouse is unable to work due to a disability.

    Survivor Benefits Eligibility And Who Can Receive Them

    February 3, 2016 By Paul Giannetti

    Survivor benefits are monies paid by the U.S. Social Security Administration to individuals who have suffered the death of a family member. Those eligible to receive survivor benefits include widowers, widows, divorced widowers and widows, dependent parents and children under 19 years of age.

    Amount of survivor benefits paid to eligible recipients is based on how many years the deceased worked prior to their death. These benefits are earned by anyone who works and pays Social Security taxes out of a paycheck. According to Social Securitys survivor benefits guidelines, the number of years you must work for family members to be eligible to receive survivor benefits depends on your age. For example, if someone worked 18 months out of the three years prior to their death, Social Security will pay benefits to the deceaseds children and spouse who continues to care for the deceaseds children.

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    Request A Reconsideration Online For A Medical Determination

    If we recently denied your disability claim for medical reasons, you can request an appeal online.

    A reconsideration is a complete review of your claim by someone who did not take part in the first determination. We will look at all the evidence used in the first determination, plus any new evidence that we obtain or that you submit.

    Social Security Disability Insurance

    Social Security Benefits Might See the Largest Increase Since 1983

    If you were denied SSDI due to a finding that you are not disabled, please see the section above for the process to appeal a determination from the SSA. This section will focus more on eligibility based on employment history.

    In order to be eligible for SSDI, you must have worked enough quarters to give you insured status. Basically, you must have worked enough to be able to receive benefits based on your earnings record. The regulations for SSDI benefits are located at 20 CFR § 404. Your insured status is a basic factor in determining if you are entitled to old-age or disability insurance benefits or to a period of disability. It is also a basic factor in determining if dependents or survivors insurance benefits or a lump-sum death payment are payable based on your earnings record. See our Survivors Benefits section for more information on another social security benefit. The are many different ways you can become fully insured for disability benefits purposes and the definitions are listed in the regulations. If you are neither fully nor currently insured, no benefits are payable based on your earnings.

    If you are not eligible for SSDI benefits, you may still be eligible for Supplemental Security Income .

    What is the difference between SSDI and SSI?

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