Do You Qualify for Survivor’s Disability Benefits?

Hands of senior woman holding walking stick

If a Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) recipient dies, his or her surviving dependents may be able to get survivor’s benefits. However, they must meet requirements to qualify. Benefit amounts hinge on several factors.

Requirements for Survivors Benefits

If a deceased loved one received SSDI benefits before dying, individuals who may be eligible to receive survivor’s benefits include:

  • Surviving spouses 60 and above
  • Dependent children aged 19 and under
  • Unmarried children 18 and above who have been disabled since before 22
  • Disabled spouses 50 and above
  • Spouses of any age taking care of the deceased’s child age 0-16

Others who may qualify for survivor’s benefits include divorced spouses, stepchildren, grandchildren, adopted children, step-grandchildren and elderly dependent parents. 

How Big Are The Benefits?

The amount of benefits a survivor can receive depends on the deceased person’s employment history, amount of benefits, survivor’s relationship to the deceased and age of the survivor.

A surviving spouse who is over age 60 but not at full retirement age can receive 71% to 99% of the deceased’s monthly amount. A surviving spouse who has reached full retirement age can receive the full amount of the deceased’s benefits. A disabled spouse age 50 and above can receive 71% of the benefits. If a divorced spouse qualifies, he or she can receive the same amount as a widow or widower.

 A surviving spouse caring for a minor or disabled child can receive 75% of the amount. A minor or disabled child can receive 75% of the deceased’s benefits. A dependent parent can receive 82% of the benefits or 75% of the benefits if there are two dependent parents. The total of the children’s benefits and surviving spouse’s benefits cannot exceed 150% to 180% of the deceased’s monthly SSDI benefits.

One-Time Death Benefit

A lump-sum death benefit of $255 can be given to surviving family members if they were living with the deceased when he or she passed. A child or spouse of the deceased may receive the one-time death benefit if they were receiving on the deceased’s benefits. If there’s no surviving spouse, the payment can be made to a child eligible for benefits.

If Death Occurs Before Approval

When a disability applicant dies before his or her claim is approved, immediate family members are allowed to pursue a claim for survivor’s benefits. Eligible family members may start receiving these benefits once the claim is approved. Payback may be awarded once the claim is approved. 

Social Security Disability

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