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Social Security Survivor benefits after the death of the disabled person

Spouse survival benefits

If a disabled person getting benefits under Social Security Disability Insurance program dies and leaves behind dependents who were previously eligible and recipients of the auxiliary benefits, may continue to receive the benefits even after the death of the disabled person.

Let's face this: death is inevitable, it is not easy but it becomes even more difficult when the sole bread earner of the family dies. Minor children, old parents or another disabled spouse may not be able to earn enough income on their own.

Although the dependents may not continue to receive the auxiliary benefits, the spouse of a disabled person who dies, would be able to receive the survivor benefits under the Social Security disability program.

So when a disabled person dies, his or her benefits would go to the surviving family of dependents (children, spouse, ex-spouse, parents).

Surviving, dependent spouses

The spouse of a disabled person (who was receiving benefits under the SSDI), may be eligible to receive widow or widower's benefits provided that the disabled spouse was 'currently insured' before their death.

Surviving, dependent parents

The elderly parents of a disabled person, who were dependent on the disabled child through his/her social security benefits may continue to receive a percentage of the disabled child's benefits provided that he/she was currently insured for social security at the time of their death. In addition to that, the elderly parents should also meet the following requirements:

  • The disabled child provided at least half of the support at the time of his/her death;
  • The parents are over 62 years of age;
  • The parents (if single) have not remarried after the death of the disabled child;
  • The parents are not currently entitled to receive benefits under their own Social Security accord.


Surviving, dependent minor children

In order for the minor children or children under 18 years of age to qualify for survivor benefits, they must meet these requirements:

  • Be unmarried;
  • Younger than 18 years old, or if a full-time student then be under 19 years old;

The children of a disabled spouse can all qualify for the survivor's benefits even if they are adopted, step-children or disabled themselves.

Surviving, dependent adult children

An adult child of a disabled parent, over the age of 18 may only be able to receive the survivor's benefits after the death of the disabled parent if they meet these conditions:

  • The child is disabled and the disability developed before they turned 22;
  • The child is under 19 years old and is a full time student;


Surviving, dependent grandchildren

Grand children or great grandchildren may be able to receive benefits on their disabled grandparent's social security record if they meet these requirements:

  • The biological parents of the grandchildren are disabled or are unable to provide for them or take sufficient care of them;
  • The biological parents of the grandchildren died;
  • The grandchildren lived with the disabled grandparents as dependents before at least 12 months of their death;
  • The grandchildren, if babies had always lived with the disabled grandparents who provided at least half of their support at the time of their death;


For more information on getting survivor's benefits under a disabled person's social security insurance, you may contact a professional social security attorney for detailed guidance.

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Tuesday, 18 June 2019