Who Gets a Social Security Death Benefit?
When someone receiving Social Security disability benefits (SSD) passes away, there are two types of benefits that may be paid to survivors. The first is a lump sum death benefit. This is a small, one-time payment of $255. This benefit is paid to the surviving spouse if there is one, and if not to a qualifying child.
The more significant benefits for family members of a deceased SSD recipient are survivor benefits. Survivor benefits may be paid monthly to certain surviving dependents.
Qualifying for Social Security Survivor Benefits
There’s a short list of people who may be entitled to Social Security survivor benefits when a family member who was receiving disability benefits passes away. However, there is one common qualification: to be eligible for survivor benefits, the family member must have been dependent on the SSD recipient for financial support.
Those who may qualify include:
- A surviving spouse, but only if:
- They are 60 years of age or older, or
- They are caring for a child of the deceased SSD recipient who is under the age of 16, or
- They are caring for a disabled child of the deceased, regardless of the child’s age, or
- They are aged 50 or older and disabled and became disabled while the SSD recipient was alive or within seven years after they passed away
- A former spouse, but only if:
- The marriage lasted at least 10 years and the former spouse is 60 or older, or
- The marriage lasted at least 10 years and the former spouse if 50 or older and disabled, or
- The former spouse is caring for a child of the deceased SSD recipient who is under 16, regardless of the length of the marriage
- A child of the deceased who is unmarried and:
- Under the age of 18, or
- Under the age of 19 and two months if they are still in high school full time
- Disabled by a condition that began before the child reached age 22
- A parent aged 62 or older who depended on the deceased for at least half of their support
How Much Can Dependents Receive in Survivor Benefits
The Social Security Administration (SSA) applies a formula to determine the amount of survivor benefits. For dependents of a deceased SSD recipient, the maximum amount available to the family will be between 100% and 150% of the deceased’s full retirement benefit. How those funds are divided depends on the number and type of dependents who qualify for survivor benefits.
Help for Surviving Dependents of SSD Recipients
If you’ve just lost a loved one, you likely have a lot on your mind. The last thing you need is a struggle to untangle administrative red tape. Whether you’re applying for survivor benefits, have been denied benefits, or believe the amount you’re receiving is too low, Disability Help Group is here for you. To learn more about how we can help your family, call 800) 800-3332 or contact us here today.