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Collecting and Using Social Security Survivor Benefits

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 27, 20160 found this helpful

Your friend can certainly apply for survivor benefits for her grandchildren. She must apply now as benefits are only paid from the date of application. She can make an appointment at her local Social Security Administration; she should bring all pertinent papers-birth certificates, death notice, etc.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

The Social Security office is the only place that can really give your friend the answers to these questions.


There are many variables when it comes to SS benefits for children.
Here are a few questions that will probably need to be answered:

1. Where is the father and why does he not have responsibility for the children?

2. Does the grandmother have legal custody of the children?

3. Did the mother work and pay in sufficient Social Security dues for there to be any benefits available?

4. What are the ages of the children? Payment is only made until the children are 18 or finish high school unless they have a disability.

This is just an example but it would be best to be prepared so they may not have to make too many trips.

It is best to apply as soon as possible so they will have an "open" case and if benefits are approved they would be eligible for payment from the application date.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

Social Security must be consulted, and you will need to go in person. You will need a copy of the death certificate, and proof that you are the legal guardian.

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December 27, 20160 found this helpful

Only SS can answer her questions. Some offices (such as mine) only see you by appointment. She needs to call them asap. She will need to take a certified copy of the death certificate, custody or guardianship papers, ss number of her daughter and of the kids, as well as her daughter and childrens birth certificates. They will need that information in order to determine if they qualify for ss.

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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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December 30, 20160 found this helpful

I'd agree it is best to contact your local SS office; they will tell you what is appropriate, and how your friend can go about claiming. They have a difficult job to do, but to reasonable people seeking information there should be no problem.

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