Detroit disability attorneys may be able to help the surviving family members of a disabled worker without life insurance receive financial compensation. The Social Security Administration offers what is known as a survivor’s benefit to bereaved spouses. If you were married to the deceased for at least one year, and he or she had sufficient Social Security credits to qualify for Social Security disability insurance or retirement benefits, you may be entitled to disability benefits as well. The policies for surviving spouses who seek to collect on disability benefits to which the deceased husband or wife was entitled differ significantly from the policies for those seeking to benefit from the deceased spouse’s retirement benefits. In some cases, you may be entitled to survivors benefit even after a divorce.
Benefits for the surviving spouse, who is the parent of at least one child under the age of 16, may be entitled to mother’s or father’s benefit. You may also be entitled to receive a monthly benefit check if you have a disabled child under the age of 22. If the disabled child is over the age of 22, they must have been disabled prior to turning 22. In most cases, your spouse must have worked for a minimum of 10 out of the last 20 years to be eligible for Social Security disability or retirement benefits. The mother’s or father’s benefit is more lenient, requiring that the deceased spouse worked for at least eighteen months out of the three years prior to his or her death. These benefits expire when the child turns 16 but may be renewed once you turn 60, or 50 if you are disabled. Consult with Detroit disability attorneys for more information on how the age restrictions on mother’s and father’s benefits may affect your claim. The collection of children’s benefits may also affect the overall amount your family is entitled to collect.
Widow’s or Widower’s Benefit
If you were married to the deceased for at least one year before his or her death, and he or she was entitled to SSDI, you may receive benefits if your spouse was 60 years or older. You may also receive benefits if you are disabled and between the ages of 50 and 60, as long as your disability occurred within seven years of the insured spouse’s death. Spouses under the age of 50 at the time of the insured spouse’s death are not eligible to receive benefits unless they are also taking care of the disabled or minor child of the deceased. If you remarry at any point, you will become ineligible to receive widow’s or widower’s benefit, and if you are already receiving such benefits, they will cease. Additionally, you are ineligible if you become eligible for higher Social Security benefits on your own. If your benefits are based on the deceased worker’s retirement benefits, you may not collect until the age of retirement, which is 66 if you were born before 1956 and 67 if you were born after 1960.
Benefits for Divorced Spouses
A divorced spouse is eligible to receive SSDI benefits that his or her former spouse was receiving or entitled to as long as the divorced spouse is 60 years or older. If you are disabled, you may collect benefits at the age of 50. You may also collect benefits prior to 60 if you are caring for the deceased’s minor or disabled child.
Survivors Benefits Payments
The amount of survivors’ benefits you are entitled to varies depending on the earnings of the deceased. You will receive a monthly payment based on a percentage of the amount the deceased was collecting from SSDI at the time of his or her death. Generally, a surviving spouse of retirement age receives the full amount of the deceased worker’s monthly SSDI payment. Those between the age of 60 and full retirement age receive between 71 and 99 percent, and those who are receiving a mother’s or father’s benefit receive 75 percent of the original benefit. If there are surviving children who collect SSDI benefits, the amount you are entitled to may be reduced. The combined spouse’s benefit and children’s benefit may not exceed the maximum family benefit of the deceased worker’s SSDI benefit, which is usually between 150 and 180 percent. If you are also receiving benefits based on the fact that you are over the age of 60, those benefits will not count towards the maximum family benefit. Benefits paid to a divorced spouse who is also collecting a mother’s or father’s benefit are counted toward the maximum family benefit.
Lump Sum Death Benefits
You may be eligible to receive what is known as a lump sum benefit upon the death of a spouse receiving Social Security benefits. This is a one-time benefit paid to spouses who were living in the same household at the time of the deceased’s death. The amount is typically several hundred dollars, but may fluctuate.
Contact Detroit Disability Attorneys
Understanding and claiming the benefits you are entitled to after the death of a disabled spouse or former spouse can be a difficult process. Timing is crucial to the application process, and it is generally best to apply soon after the death of a disabled spouse since some survivors benefits begin at the time of application, not the time of death. In order to apply through the Social Security Administration, you must give your birth certificate, marriage certificate, Social Security numbers for both yourself and the deceased worker, the death certificate of the insured, and relevant tax forms. In addition to the application process, there are numerous things to consider when it comes to determining which benefits you are eligible for. Legal representation from a Detroit disability lawyer may be able to improve your application and increase your chances of receiving the benefits you are entitled to. Contact Marc J. Shefman today at (248) 298-3003 for the assistance of Detroit disability attorneys you can trust to represent your best interest throughout the benefits application process.