Marla cared for her husband, Hector, during the last few years of his battle with lung cancer. Unable to work, he had been receiving disability benefits through the Social Security Disability Insurance program (SSDI). On top of her other fears, Marla worried how she would support herself and her two children after Hector was gone. Was there such a thing as SSDI survivor’s benefits? More importantly, would she be eligible for them?
Does SSDI offer survivor’s benefits?
Yes, in some cases, a family member who survives an SSDI recipient can receive SSDI survivor’s benefits. Usually, the recipient must have earned a certain number of work credits. However, the SSA may pay SSDI benefits to a recipient’s children and a surviving spouse who is taking care of the children even if the recipient does not have enough work credits.
Sound complicated? It can be. That’s why it is so important to have experienced legal counsel when dealing with SSDI benefits.
Who is considered a ‘survivor’?
In addition to a spouse, the following people may be eligible for SSDI survivor’s benefits.
- A surviving divorced spouse in limited circumstances.
- Children who are unmarried, 18 years of age or under (or up to 19 years old if the child is a full-time elementary or secondary school student) or 18 years or older with a disability that began before age 22.
- A step-child, grandchild, or adopted child.
- Parents, if at least 62 years old and dependent on the deceased recipient for at least half of their support.
Just knowing you might be a survivor may not be enough to make you feel comfortable about your potential eligibility for benefits.
How much are SSDI survivor’s benefits payments?
Typically, the monthly payment will be a percentage of the deceased recipient’s basic Social Security benefit. Also, the benefit amount depends on how much the person who died paid into Social Security.
Some examples of SSDI survivor’s benefits include:
- A widow or widower who receives 100% of the deceased person’s benefit amount at full retirement age or older.
- One surviving parent may receive 82 ½ percent.
- A minor child may get 75%.
Also, the SSA sometimes pays a lump sum death benefit to survivors of an SSDI recipient.
Find out how to get SSDI survivor’s benefits
When dealing with the Social Security Administration, it helps to have someone in your corner. The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have the experience and ability to take on your case. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100. We assist clients throughout Southern California from our home office in Anaheim.