If Someone Getting SSD Dies, Can I Get Their Benefits?

If Someone Getting SSD Dies, Can I Get Their Benefits?

If Someone Getting SSD Dies, Can I Get Their Benefits?

Not exactly. Social Security disability benefits (SSD) are for the disabled worker, and those benefits terminate when the recipient passes away. But that doesn’t necessarily mean dependents are on their own. Here are some benefits that may be available to surviving family members when an SSD recipient passes away. 

Social Security Death Benefit

The Social Security Administration (SSA) pays a one-time, lump-sum death benefit when a recipient of either SSD or Social Security retirement benefits passes away. This is a small payment. In 2023, it’s $255. This benefit is payable to the surviving spouse if there is one. If not, the benefit may be paid to a child of the deceased.

Survivor’s Benefits

Some dependents of a deceased SSD recipient can receive survivor’s benefits.

These family members may qualify for benefits on the deceased’s work record: 

  • A surviving spouse aged 60 or older
  • A surviving spouse of any age who is caring for a child of the deceased who is under the age of 16
  • A surviving spouse of any age who is caring for a child of the deceased who is disabled
  • A surviving spouse aged 50 or older who became disabled during the SSD recipient’s life or within seven years of their death. 
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is under the age of 18, or up to age 19 and two months if they are a full-time student in elementary or secondary school
  • An adult child with a disability that began before age 22

In some circumstances, others may be able to receive survivor’s benefits.

These include: 

  • A former spouse who was married to the SSD recipient for at least 10 years and who has not remarried or who remarried after age 60
  • A former spouse who is caring for a child of the deceased who is under the age of 16 or disabled and is receiving child’s benefits, regardless of the length of the marriage
  • Parents of the deceased who are at least 62 years of age, if they received at least half of their support from the deceased SSD recipient
  • Grandchildren or stepchildren, under certain circumstances

The amount of survivor’s benefits that a family member receives will depend on both the deceased’s work record and the number of family members receiving benefits. 

An Experienced Disability Benefits Attorney Can Help

Applying for Social Security survivor benefits can be complicated. If you’ve been denied survivor benefits, don’t believe you are receiving the right amount, or just aren’t sure how to find out whether you qualify, we’re here to help. Call us today at (800) 800-3332 or fill out our contact us here now for a FREE consultation.

SSD: Rules after 60

SSD: Rules after 60

SSD: Rules after 60

You’ve probably heard that it can be difficult to get Social Security disability benefits (SSD). Most SSD applications are denied in the first round, and it can take two years or more to get through the appeals process and secure benefits. What many people don’t know is that the chances of approval increase as you age. That’s especially true once you turn 60.

There are two ways to qualify for Social Security disability benefits. The first is to demonstrate that you meet or equal one of the medical conditions listed in the Social Security Blue Book. Simply having a listed condition isn’t sufficient to qualify for SSD. You must meet specific criteria the Social Security Administration (SSA)  sets forth to ensure that your condition is truly disabling. The specific criteria are different depending on the condition.

If you don’t meet or equal a listed condition, you may still qualify for Social Security disability benefits if the  SSA determines that you are unable to engage in substantial gainful activity. That begins with a look at your past relevant work. If the SSA determines that you can still do work you have done in the past, you will not be considered disabled. If you can’t do the work you did before, the next step is for the SSA to consider whether you can do other work. This is where being aged 60 or older helps.

At this point, the determination hinges on “grid rules.” The grid looks at a combination of the applicant’s age, educational level, and past work experience to determine disability. Those aged 60 and older are classified as “advanced age” and are considered disabled in some circumstances where a younger worker would not be. For example, an applicant in their 60s with a high school education and skilled or semi-skilled work history that is not directly transferable to a new job would be considered disabled. But, an applicant under the age of 50 with the same combination of education and experience would not.

Is It Worth Applying for Social Security Disability in Your 60s? 

If you are 60 or older, you may question whether it is worthwhile to apply for SSD when you are so close to being able to take early retirement benefits. The answer is yes. When you take early retirement benefits, the amount of your monthly benefit is reduced forever. However, if you qualify for SSD, you will receive your full retirement benefit amount. When you reach full retirement age, your benefits will switch to retirement benefits, but you will still receive the full monthly benefit.

Talk to a Disability Benefits Advocate Today

While the SSA makes it a little easier for older workers to qualify for SSD, success still depends on the quality of your application. Give yourself the best chance at approval by working with an experienced SSD benefits advocate from the start.

To learn more about how we can help, call (800) 800-2009 right now or contact us here now.

How Long Do I Have to Work to Qualify for SSD?

How Long Do I Have to Work to Qualify for SSD?

How Long Do I Have to Work to Qualify for SSD?

When most people think of qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSD), they think about proving that their medical condition is severe enough that they are unable to earn a living. That is a necessary part of the process. But, there are technical criteria that must be met before the Social Security Administration (SSA) even looks at your medical condition.

To qualify for SSD, a disabled worker must have sufficient work credits. For disability benefits, these credits are measured in two ways. The applicant must have a certain number of total work credits and a certain number of recent work credits. The number of each type of credit required varies depending on the applicant’s age.

What are Work Credits?

When you work and pay into Social Security, you collect work credits. The maximum number of credits you can earn in a year is four, regardless of how much money you make during that year. The amount of earnings it takes to constitute a credit changes over time. In 2023, you must earn $1,640 to earn one credit. 

Earning credits for the year tops out at $6,560/year, so most people who work full-time–or even steady part-time jobs–will accrue four credits in a year. If you earn less, you’ll get fewer credits.

How Many Work Credits Are Required for SSD? 

For most disabled workers, the minimum number of total work credits accrued to qualify for SSD benefits is 40. That’s the equivalent of 10 years of work. It’s also the same number of work credits required for Social Security retirement benefits. However, disability qualification has another element. Unless you are legally blind, you must also have a certain number of recent work credits. For most applicants, that number is 20 (the equivalent of five years of work) within the 10 years prior to applying.

Credit Requirements are Lower for Younger Workers

A worker who becomes disabled Earlier in adulthood hasn’t had as much time to receive work credits. So the number of work credits required is adjusted based on the applicant’s age. For instance, if the disabled worker is under the age of 24, they need just six work credits (1.5 years) of work in the prior three years. 

If your social security record indicates that you do not have enough work credits, review the record carefully. If there are jobs missing from your record or incorrect time periods, you can correct your record. 

Talk to an Experienced SSD Benefits Advocate

The rather complicated formula for work credits above is just one element of qualifying for Social Security disability benefits. Proving that your condition meets or equals a condition listed in the Blue Book, or that you are unable to work, can be much more complicated. Most Social Security disability initial applications are denied. To give yourselves the best chance of approval, work with a qualified disability benefits advocate who knows what the SSA is looking for. 

To learn more about how we can help, call (800) 800-2009 right now or contact us here.

SSD Qualifications for Anxiety

SSD Qualifications for Anxiety

SSD Qualifications for Anxiety

– Matt Sauerwald, President, Disability Help Group

Matt Sauerwald is one of the nation’s top Disability Advocates. Matt has spent more than a decade helping people who are unable to work due to a disability, representing thousands of clients along the way. He knows people pursuing disability benefits hear a lot of misinformation and conflicting advice. So, he’s sharing what you need to know about pursuing Social Security disability benefits for anxiety.

Can You Get Social Security Disability Benefits for Anxiety?

The Social Security Blue Book includes a listing for anxiety and two related disorders: obsessive-compulsive disorder and panic disorder. It is possible to receive SSD benefits for these conditions if certain criteria are met. 

For anxiety disorder, the SSD applicant must exhibit at least three of the following signs and symptoms of the disorder:

  • Restlessness
  • Being easily fatigued
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Irritability
  • Muscle tension
  • Sleep disturbance

In addition, the applicant must meet one of the following two sets of criteria: 

Extreme limitation of one or marked limitation of two of the following areas of mental functioning: 

  • Ability to understand, remember, or apply information
  • Ability to interact with others
  • Ability to concentrate, persist, or maintain pace
  • Ability to adapt or  manage oneself


The condition is serious and persistent, meaning that the applicant is undergoing ongoing treatment that diminishes the signs and symptoms of the condition and has a limited capacity to adapt to changes in environment or demands not already part of their daily life. 

Establishing these factors typically requires a combination of medical records and documentation and information from the applicant and family members about what they are and are not able to do in their daily lives. Matt and his team at Disability Help Group have extensive knowledge of what is required to successfully pursue Social Security disability benefits for anxiety. Whether you’re just applying for SSD for the first time or need to appeal a denial, you owe it to yourself to learn more about how our experienced disability advocates can help. 

Call 800-800-3332 right now, or contact us here now.

Matthew Sauerwald has been a dedicated voice for people seeking disability benefits since 2010. He has represented thousands of claimants fighting for Social Security disability or VA disability benefits and currently leads Disability Help Group, one of the most successful disability advocacy organizations in the United States.

How Long Does it Take to Receive Long-Term Disability?

How Long Does it Take to Receive Long-Term Disability?

How Long Does it Take to Receive Long-Term Disability?

Long-term disability (LTD) provides income if a disability prevents you from working if the injury was not work-related. Disability benefits for a long-term work-related injury are typically paid through workers’ compensation. A long-term disability policy may be offered through your employer. However, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 35% of employees in the U.S. have access to LTD coverage. A long-term disability policy can also be purchased directly. 

Long-term disability isn’t full income replacement. What percentage of your income LTD will replace depends on the terms of your policy, with the average payout being about 60%. You also won’t start receiving disability benefits as soon as you become disabled. 

Waiting Periods for Long-Term Disability

Virtually all long-term disability benefit plans have a waiting period between the time you become disabled and the time you are eligible to start receiving benefits. The waiting period is commonly between 90 and 180 days but may be as short as 30 days or as long as one year. 

It’s important to note that this timeline only holds true if your LTD benefits are approved promptly. Unfortunately, most are not. When the claim is initially denied, the process of administrative appeals and perhaps even civil lawsuits can significantly extend the time it takes to begin receiving benefits. The upside is that when benefits are eventually approved, they will typically be backdated to the time when you should initially have been eligible. The downside is that when you are disabled and unable to work, you may not be able to wait out the long process of fighting for your benefits. 

If you find yourself in this position, you may want to: 

  • Check into whether you are also eligible for Social Security disability and apply
  • Check to see whether your state offers disability benefits–a handful do
  • Look into other sources of short-term assistance–one good resource in most states is to call 211, a central resource to connect people with various types of local assistance

You’ll also want to give yourself the benefit of an experienced disability benefits advocate who can help ensure that you know your rights and keep your claim moving forward efficiently. To learn more about how Disability Help Group can help you fight for your benefits, call 800-800-3332 or contact us here.