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Receiving Social Security Survivor Benefits

If a spouse or parent dies, you may be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. This is a guide about receiving Social Security survivor benefits.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

By 0 found this helpful
June 18, 2017

My son's father died 6 years ago and I want to make my husband (my son calls him dad) a legal guardian. Would his survivor benefits end if I do this?

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June 19, 20170 found this helpful

I think you will lose benefits because your new husband's income will be included in household income. However, I would make an appointment with Social Security.

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February 15, 20141 found this helpful

My brother recently died and he has two children. Their mother receives their money now; she is not giving it to them. Can they switch it over to mother or I?

By KC

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February 16, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Are the kids minors? As a whole the money is intended to support them, not for them to spend on whatever they want. Furthermore, it isn't needed for actual support, how do you know their mother isn't saving it for college? This is something like child support, which is intended to help provide the necessities that a kid needs, not to let them have all kinds of fun with it. Talk to your local Social Security Office and see what they say.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 5, 2017

My 16 year old son's father passed away. I plan on applying for survivors benefits for him. However there's an overpayment to both me and him that I am paying back to SSDI. Will this prevent him from receiving survivors benefits?

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June 6, 20170 found this helpful

You would have to make an appointment with Social Security to discuss this. SSDI is a separate benefit from survivor's benefits.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 6, 2017

The mother of my kids died recently in January and we would share custody. I have the kids now and in order to get benefits for the kids they're asking for proof that they live with me. What would or could be considered that they live with me?

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June 6, 20170 found this helpful

Social Security would need official papers so it would need to be something like Judy said - papers from the school showing their current address. Did the children change schools when they came to live with you? If so, did you apply for transfer papers to the new school? If so, these would also confirm the new address.

Their new address should be the same address that is on your current drivers license. Also, you should also be changing their address with Social Security so that would be something else.

That may be all that you need but I cannot help but wonder why you have waited so long before applying for benefits.

Be sure that you ask any questions you are wondering about while you are completing the paperwork at SS. Such as what kind of records do you have to keep concerning the benefits paid to you for their care and what exactly is considered an expense where the child is concerned. They do have some pamphlets that explain some of these things but you might want to ask anyway.

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By 0 found this helpful
June 1, 2017

I'm the representative payee for my sister's survivor benefits. Prior to receiving guardianship of my sister, the state was payee and the monthly benefits just accumulated and were not used while she was in the state's custody. When the guardianship took place, the benefits that had accumulated were sent from the state back to Social Security. That was two months ago and I still have not received the lump sum. Wouldn't that come to me as her current payee? Has anyone experienced this?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
June 2, 20170 found this helpful

You will have to contact your SSA (in person) to get the full answer to your question but I might ask this question - why do you feel you are entitled to receive the accumulated benefits? Are you in need of these funds to take care of your sister in her present state?

Social Security benefits are paid on a monthly basis to take care of the continuing needs of the dependent (such as housing, food, clothing, doctor, medications, and personal items) and since you did not provide these services then it would not appear that you have a right to claim them. If the state decided not to use those funds then I believe you will find they do not belong to you or your sister and will properly be returned to the SSA as you stated.

When you were awarded the role as representative payee/guardian, I hope the forms/papers explained your role with regards to the benefits your sister receives. If you have any questions about how this money is to be used and/or your responsibility in keeping records of these benefits, now would be the best time to ask those questions.

Record keeping is very important and there can be extreme penalties if SSA requests an accounting and records are not available.

The main thing I am saying is I hope you and your sister can have a safe and happy home/relationship for many years to come and that these benefits will help you towards that end.

SSA can answer any question (and answer it correctly) much better than anyone here can attempt to do as every case is different and you will not know for sure if you do not visit their office.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 18, 2017

My son receives Beneficiary Social Security from my husband's and my work record. He is 18, but graduates on May 26th. My question is will he receive a check in June for May or will his check in May for the month of April be his last one? I am trying to budget for June so any information will be greatly appreciated. I know when my hubby passed away in December he wasn't due a check in January because he didn't live all of December. So I am figuring the same will be true with my son graduating near the end of the month that he will not be due a check in June which covers May.

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April 27, 20170 found this helpful

When my father passed away at my being only 7yrs old, my mother received his SS, for me, until i turned 18 yrs old. If i had graduated and received my diploma instead of dropping out, and getting a GED instead... I would have received monthly checks until I turned 21. When my father passed, he was working, and not receiving SS himself. I am 45, and will not live to collect SS myself. So my children had better get it! And without any thieving restrictions! SS Administration needs a Financial, legal, and ethical Audit. Im forced to keep paying it, wont live to collect it, and cant even rest assured that my Children will... No forthcoming answers regarding this, no transparent language or info online, and nothing articulate or explanatory in the Laws. Everyone is forgetting what SS was established for, as well as the Laws dealing with, governing, and surroundin it. Its gotten well out of hand, and become quite unlawful I fear. Best of luck in your endeavor to find answers. I recommend you buy a ream or two of paper, fill your inkjet, and be prepared to spend between 6 and 9 hours online doing personal research. Then you call the SS Administration... oh, and... be sure to have coffee and snacks ready, and a boxers mouth piece, to keep from gritting your teeth at the anger, disbelief, and frusteration of what you will learn. Believe me, I know from experience... Then, if you can... pass it on. Many blessings to you and yours from me and mine.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 17, 2017

I'm 35; my mom died at the age of 60. Can I get survivor's benefits from SSI?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 18, 20170 found this helpful

are you legally disabled? if not the answer is no. if you are then it could be yes,but you must apply right away because benefits only start from the date of filing.

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By 0 found this helpful
April 18, 2017

My spouse died on April 4, 2017. Will I get a benefit check for him for the month of March?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
April 19, 20170 found this helpful

If you are referring to the checks he was drawing then there would not be one issued for the month of April. But if you are referring to if you can draw one off of his account as widow benefits, that is a different story.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 21, 2017

My husband passed away. My children and I were all eligible to receive benefits. They did. I didn't. I think it was taken for student loans. It's been 6yrs. Was that money applied to my defaulted loans?

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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

it seems like your student loans would not be paid in this way, without your knowledge. I don't believe student loans can take SSI payments, but the best thing to do is to ask, call the student loan provider or te SSI

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By 0 found this helpful
March 26, 2017

My grandmother passed away a little over 2 months ago and my grandfather went through all the Social Security mumbo jumbo with that and received the full death benefit check from the state. He has recently gotten a second check on his SS card for the exact amount my grandmother was drawing and on the same day she would have received it. Should he be getting this every month now? I've asked around and everyone says he does get the money, but I don't want him to spend it and then have to pay it all back. He barely makes it by as is.

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March 27, 20170 found this helpful

No one should be receiving 2 checks in their name. Your grandfather probably receives his own check and your grandmother (before her death) received a check/payment in her name.

What name is own the 2nd check? Most likely it has your grandmothers name and no one should be cashing a check (bank deposit even) that is intended for someone else. Someone may claim ignorance of the law/fact but that will not keep SS from getting their money back.

Please take your grandfather and go to your Social Security office and make inquiries because, at some point, this money will have to be paid back to SS.

Most likely the problem is the death notice was not received before the date checks/payments are scheduled to be distributed. SS checks/payments are paid for the month in which received (paid ahead) and SS will sometimes even send a notice to return the money for the month a person is reported deceased. They do not enforce this but they definitely will enforce repayment of her benefit as soon as all the death notices reach all departments.

Unless we are misunderstanding something, your grandfather may receive an increase (and it could be this amount) but you need to go to SS to be sure everything is correct. SS will not give you information unless your grandfather is present or he has given you a full authority POA.

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By 1 found this helpful
March 31, 2016

I was receiving Social Security benefits as a survivor after my father passed away. I recently turned 18 in March. I did not receive anything from work. Should I have received something for the month of March and do I get a lump sum?

Answer Was this helpful? 1
May 9, 20160 found this helpful

Carolina - you would receive more answers if you start your own question instead of asking on someone's question.

I believe the only answer to your question is to ask at your local SS office.

It may be that you have to remain in school to receive benefits but you may be able to work part time.

Are you saying the benefits go to you or to your guardian/parent? Generally benefits are paid to the person responsible for your care (housing, food, clothing, etc.) and are paid as long as the child is in school (not college) but I do not believe they will pay past 19 years of age even if the individual is still in school.

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By 0 found this helpful
January 15, 2017

My mother passed away. I'm assuming her husband got the life insurance. There is some SSSI. Does that go to anyone? She had 3 kids, older and her husband of 18 years.

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January 18, 20170 found this helpful

I may be wrong but I have always thought benefits only go to minor children but with anything the best place to go is to the professionals.... call the SS office. Good luck

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By 0 found this helpful
February 27, 2017

I filed for death benefits on August 02, 2016. They said that I should have my check by the beginning of September and I still have not received my money. I have been to my local Social Security board office and they say its in the payment center and they can't do anything! So what do I do to get my money?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
February 28, 20170 found this helpful

You should hire an attorney to speak for you. My situation is similar with my grandson. I have contacted the SSA six times in two different states and many telephone calls, along with speaking to a supervisor in person, with promises of we will resolve this matter in two weeks. I have contacted an attorney to assist me in this matter, and I'll let you know how it ends.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 16, 2017

My ex son-in-law just passed away (51 yrs old always worked). He left behind three boys (10 yr old twins and an 8 yr old brother plus my daughter his recent ex). The boys were born in Alabama and still reside there with my daughter. She has an upcoming meeting with Social Security. Do you have any idea what she will get per child and does she qualify for benefits? Thank you.

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March 17, 20171 found this helpful

If she has remarried before his death, she will not get anything, but the children still will. (However, the children's money is sent to her in her name) The amount is divided among the 3 children. But, it only pays up to a certain amount. When the older 2 drop off, the younger childs amount may increase.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 27, 2016

Have a friend who is a grandmother raising her grandkids after her daughter has died of cancer. I was told the benefits could help her with paying bills and making sure the kids get what they need and want. Also, that the money can be used to pay the bills for their internet and TV, electric, and other bills. Is this correct? This friend wanted to know to make sure she was doing right?

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December 29, 20161 found this helpful

I have reread your question and I am wondering if it is possible that we are reading your question incorrectly?

Is the grandmother already receiving benefits and you (or your friend) are wondering if the grandmother is using the money properly?

Are you asking if these are the types of item that benefits should be used for?

If this is the case, then most of this information can be obtained in free SS pamphlets/or over the internet or anyone can ask general questions at their Social Security office (anonymously if desired).

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By 0 found this helpful
February 5, 2017

I have a 16 year old son who receives survivor benefits. He is staying with his grandpa while going to school. I send him money every month to live on. I have been saving money in his savings account since he has been gone, can he sue me for that?

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February 7, 20170 found this helpful

Thank You for the reply! I turn in the paperwork whenever I receive it.

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By 0 found this helpful
October 21, 2015

My son and I receive Social Security. He is 16 now; will he receive my 700 as well?

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
October 21, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Only the Social Security Administration can answer your question.

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By 1 found this helpful
April 5, 2016

The children's father passed away in 2013 so his 2 kids get survivor benefits, but in November of 2015 the mother called for us to get the children. She is getting the money every month saying it's hers, but does not provide for the kids. Is this okay to do? What can we do to get the money for the children if she is the legal guardian?

Answer Was this helpful? 1
April 5, 20161 found this helpful

Contact your local Social Security office to make an appointment to discuss your questions and concerns.

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By 0 found this helpful
December 7, 2016

Is there any way to get my Social Security survivor benefits sent to me since I am only seventeen, but I have a dependent?

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December 9, 20160 found this helpful

it is difficult to give any advice on situations that deal with Social Security Benefits as almost no two cases are alike - similar maybe - but just one item can change the whole answer.

That is the reason it is recommended that you visit your local SS office so you know you are getting the correct information/answers.

There are several questions you will probably have to answer:

1. Are you still in school?

2. Who is receiving your benefit check now?

And are they supplying you a place to live and food?

3. Is the dependent your child and who is caring and providing for this child now?

Be sure to carry any papers that may be relevant to the situation.

SS number for yourself, the dependent, and the person that your benefits are from.

You may also need proof of residence if different from the address where the check is now going.

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February 27, 20140 found this helpful

I am 18 years old with a 18 year old girlfriend. We have a beautiful daughter together that I love with all my heart. But here is the trick, I get a SS check for my father dying while I was still in school.

When my girlfriend gave birth I was forced to drop out to go to work to provide for them, but kept getting my check every month. I know this was wrong, but the check was the only thing getting us by. Now 9 months after I dropped out I have to file taxes for the year of 2013 and I'm worried.

What's the worst that could happen? and what are the steps to making it right? My family can't afford for me to be locked up and I just need advise. Please reply as quickly as possible. Thank you.

By a.m

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February 27, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Your best answer would be to talk to your local Social Security Office. My guess is you will be expected to pay all or part of it back.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 5, 2017

I have recently gained legal custody of my 9 year old granddaughter. I am 56 and have long term disability and am in the process of gaining SS disability approval. My granddaughter's father recently passed away and I need to know if she'll be able to draw a survivor benefit from her father (does have sufficient earning qtrs) or should I look to adopt her and have her draw from my disability.

I would presume that her draw capacity would be higher through my eligibility compared to her father's. Or would my max draw capacity be reduced if she draws from me. The mother is incarcerated and I don't believe is a factor in the scenario. I would greatly appreciate your guidance.

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February 6, 20170 found this helpful

Only ss could determine which way you need to go. However, bear in mind that if you adopt her, it can take years to go thru, even for a family adoption.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 7, 2017

My son's father passed away at the age of 18 ten years ago this October. He worked for a month maybe 2 before he passed. My question is how come my son isn't entitled to any type of benefit? I have contacted Social Security and they said his father didn't work enough terms to have my son receive survivor benefits. Does anyone else have this situation? What should I do? No child support obviously and no survivor benefits.

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March 7, 20172 found this helpful

Social Security would calculate what the benefit would have been if your son's father had reached full retirement age. However, only working a month or two would not be much, if anything. I did read that your son may be entitled to a lump-sum benefit. I would suggest you make an appointment with Social Security.

Here is where I got the information: https://www.ssa  /onyourown5.html

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By 0 found this helpful
November 9, 2015

My daughter's dad passed away 6 months ago at the age of 20. My daughter will be two next month. I applied, but was told he didn't have enough work credits, when he had four credits. I've been doing research and found a couple people were eligible when the other deceased parent didn't work at all. What kind of lawyer do I need to talk to? All help is appreciated!

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November 13, 20151 found this helpful
Best Answer

Attorneys who handle Social Security issues do not receive any payment from you or anyone else until the issue is resolved. If the issue is resolved in your favor, then the attorney's fee is paid directly from the money award. If you lose your case, the attorney receives nothing. Been there.

If any attorney tries to require any advance payment from you for handling your case, this is illegal and you should report him to the American Bar Association.

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April 19, 20150 found this helpful

My brother is disabled and doesn't get a lot from a disability check of $740 monthly. He would not be able to live on it if something were to happen to my mother. If my mother were to die, can my brother collect her SS or survivor benefits? They live together now; my father is deceased.

Answer Was this helpful? Yes
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