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Receiving Social Security Survivor Benefits

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.

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
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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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February 16, 20140 found this helpful
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My children get ss since their father passed away. The money is for their food, their share of rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, dental, eye glasses, class ring, yearbook, clothing, shoes, their share of a overnight trip if we take one, field trips.

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If you look at the check, you will notice it is made to the adult whom they live with. Mine is made out to me, "on behalf of" their name. The money is not to be given to the children to blow. On the other hand, my kids are in high school now, so I am saving part for college, and I do give them each an allowance out of it.

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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.

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By a.m

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February 27, 20140 found this helpful
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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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February 28, 20140 found this helpful
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I certainly agree that you need to go to your SS office as soon as possible so you will know where you stand.

I would like to add that I applaud you for wanting to do the right thing as I know some people would not take this stand and just wait to see if they were ever "caught".

I do not know how much money you make each month but you may be eligible for some sort of assistance and even a small amount might help.

According to what solution the SS offers you, it may be wise to try and get some legal advise. Go to your local church and see if they can recommend someone to help you.

I hope they will let you pay it off in small monthly payments.

Good luck and please - go to your SS office and do not take advise from just "anyone".

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February 27, 20140 found this helpful

My father passed away when I was in the fourth grade. I'm just now graduating high school and am about to turn 18. I was receiving Social Security, he was also disabled when he died. Can I still receive it for college?

By Caleb from Chickasha, OK

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February 27, 20140 found this helpful
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You'll have to get proof of paternity through family court to get the father's name on the birth certificate. I'm going through it now even though my son's grandmother called right after his father died and they said to just come in. I don't need anything. Good thing when I got his birth certificate without his father's name, I called and figured out how to get it on there or I'd be waiting longer than I already have to. I have a court date next month then I have to make another SS appointment once I have the proof.

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February 28, 20140 found this helpful
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Hi - only the SS office can answer your question.

Be sure to take yours and your dad's SS numbers, as well as a copy of his death certificate.

You may not receive the same benefits but you may be able to get some money for college. Be sure to check with your school's counselor for the kinds of help you may be eligible for.

Good luck and please stay in college if you can.

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January 20, 20140 found this helpful

My father died 3 years ago of cancer at a young age. Am I able to get his Social Security benefits? I am a single mom of two and I am having a hard time making ends meet. This would help me greatly.

By Julia

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January 21, 20140 found this helpful
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I'm not sure about this, but being you are an adult I honestly don't see how you would qualify for survivor's benefits from your late Dad's Social Security. It would be different if you had a spouse and he had died. Call your local Social Security Office and make an appointment to talk to them. You aren't the only one having a hard time making ends meet, there are a lot of people in that situation.

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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?

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By 1 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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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?

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October 21, 20150 found this helpful
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Only the Social Security Administration can answer your question.

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October 22, 20150 found this helpful
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There is too little information in your question for anyone to attempt to give an answer.

But, no matter what answer was/is given, only the SS office can answer your questions correctly.

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February 23, 20140 found this helpful

My niece lost her mother (my twin sister) 10 years ago, and we recently found out her biological father passed away 4months ago. I have guardianship of her now, and she is 15 years old. Can she receive benefits from her biological father as well or can she receive benefits in place of the amount she currently is getting from her mom's passing?

By Rachelle

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February 23, 20140 found this helpful
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Call your local Social Security Office and talk to them. They are the only people that will know the correct answer.

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February 25, 20140 found this helpful
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redhatterb is absolutely correct - the Social Security office is the only place that can give you the correct answer.

I can tell you this much from experience - You should be able to chose which person to receive benefits from so you should be able to choose the highest benefit. It will go smoother if you have their social security numbers.

You will only receive benefits from one person.

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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.

By Denise

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April 19, 20150 found this helpful
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Your family should be getting your brother on a waiting list for a rent subsidized apartment. The rent for them runs roughly 30% of a person's income. Most apartments have a good portion of the utilities included in the rent. Also he should qualify for some food stamps.

Has he had any training on how to live independently? If not, he should be receiving some of that. He should know how to shop, do laundry, dishes, a little cooking. Is he working part time, which is something that he should be doing too, he should have a case manager to help him find a job. I have a 46 year old mentally handicapped daughter that lives with me and with our income combined, which both are Social Security, we get rent assistance for our apartment and when I am gone the rent assistance will automatically roll over to her. She has known how to do the laundry for about 20 years, it was a learning process because I knew someday she would have to do it on her own. She also knows how to shop for groceries and how to ask a store employee for help if she needs it. I have taught her how to load the dishwasher, and being she will be on her own in the near future, because I have a new health problem that will make it so that she has to become independent quite soon.

She also has a case managers that when I am gone they will help her pay bills, help her shop, etc. Being my health has taken a turn for the worse, I am also looking at different types of frozen foods that can be heated in the microwave so she won't have to mess with the stove. She has learned how to heat cheeseburger sliders that are in the frozen food department, you can buy french fries that can be heated in the microwave, single serve size pizzas that can be done in the oven or microwave, there is also something called scramblers that are scrambled eggs with diced bacon on some type of a crust.

You can buy small containers of potato salad in deli departments, franks can be heated in the microwave. There is a lot your brother is going to have to know, unless you are planning on taking him in. I don't know what kind of training he has had, but I get the idea from your complaint that he hasn't had a lot of training. My daughter is capable of living alone with the help of her case managers.

As far as help from Social Security goes, if your parents worked enough to draw Social Security when they die, your brother should receive a certain percentage in Survivor's Benefits. I don't know exactly how that is figured, I am going to have to call our SS Office and talk to them about that matter too. I do know the parents have to work a certain period of time in order to qualify.

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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 20, 20150 found this helpful

My father passed away 2 years ago and my mom receives survivor benefits for both me and my younger sister, who will be 16 next month. My sister is planning on getting engaged and the boy's mother will be her legal guardian. I don't understand much of the situation, so I apologize if this makes no sense. Will my mom still receive the benefits for my sister after this process takes place? She will still be attending school.

By Ash

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April 21, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

The persons involved in all of this will have to be the ones asking the questions - and - the Social Security office is the only place to get accurate answers.

Is your mother still receiving benefits for you as well?

It appears that your younger sister is almost 16 then your benefits will soon be ending?

Bear in mind that benefits are paid for care/support of the child until they reach 18-19 and are still in school.

I also believe the "guardian' has to be a legal action and benefits may change if the child marries.

All of these variables are the reason to go to the SS office for answers.

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March 4, 20150 found this helpful

My daughter's father died and she receives death benefits. I was wondering if she will still receive them if my new husband adopts her?

By Cyndie from Boone, IA

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March 6, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Get correct answers at your Social Security office. Very easy to do but may entail a short/long wait - sometimes you can call and make an appointment but still may have a "wait".

I believe that if your daughter is adopted by your present husband her legal status will change and she will no longer be eligible for benefits from her "former/biological" father.

Rules change in all government services so please get your answers from the SS office so you can make an informed choice as to whether this is a good idea. I believe you really need to think about why/reasons you want to do this. Maybe discuss this with a representative of the family services division in your city as there may be other ways to accomplish your "reasons".

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February 9, 20140 found this helpful

I am 17 yrs old and I am wanting to move out of my parents' house. I was wondering who my check will go to when I do move out?

By Kirstie

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February 10, 20140 found this helpful
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Do you plan on moving out before you are 18? This is something that you and your mother are going to have to make arrangements to go to your local Social Security Office and talk to them about. I might be wrong, but as long as you are a minor the checks go to your parents for your support or if they can afford to put them in savings for college. That being said, I have always heard the checks stop when a child turns 18 or graduates from high school.

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January 21, 20140 found this helpful

My father passed away and I received something in the mail that he is entitled to a little more Social Security, however they require my birth certificate which I can not find. It also states something about wanting the birth certificates of next of kin which would be my siblings, so could I just possibly use one or all of theirs and not mine?

By Jeff. O

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January 22, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Look up your state online and when you look at different parts of the site, it will tell you how to go about obtaining different certificates. There will probably even be a form that you can print out, fill out and send it to the proper address. Some states also have it set up that you can go to your county courthouse and apply for the certificates that you need. There will be a fee to obtain the copies and where I live that is $15.00 for each certificate.

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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?

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By 1 found this helpful
February 22, 2016

I am legal guardian to my great niece whose mother died last year. She has lived with me for a year and I just applied for benefits because I didn't even know I could apply for such a thing. I am confused about spending her money. I have been living with my son who owns his house and now my great niece lives here too. I owe him money for back rent for myself and my niece. I also incurred debt raising her for the past year with no help.

Can I use the lump sum I will be receiving to pay for that now? And can I pay my debt off as well? I also will now pay $1000 per month which includes everything, utilities, rent, water, trash removal, cable, etc. Since I will have the extra funds to do so. She receives $700 a month. I will make up the difference and will buy her food, clothing, etc. too. Is this okay? She is on Medicaid so medical is covered. And I have also homeschooled her over the year and will continue to do so. I need help here because I don't want to spend her money illegally. Thank you.

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June 13, 20141 found this helpful

My grandson received benefits after his mother's passing. He is now 18 and graduated from high school at the end of May. Will he get final check in June? He is going to college full time in August. Also will benefits continue since he'll be a full time student?

By Barbara B.

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February 22, 20140 found this helpful

My friend's husband died of lung cancer/Agent Orange in 1984, after retiring from the navy. She never received his Social Security benefits. Is she still entitled to them after all these years?

By Lou

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
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I believe this is a question your friend needs to address to the SS office in person.

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February 22, 20140 found this helpful

I divorced my daughter's father 10 years ago. About 4 years ago I found out that my daughter qualified to received SS benefits because, I believe, her father was mentally disabled. The woman at the SS office wouldn't reveal what the circumstances were, but she had a look on her face like something was extremely unusual.

The ex was receiving SS and did not pay child support. My question is this; my daughter is turning 18 in June and intends on attending a 4 year college this fall. I found out, about a year ago, that her father was no longer picking up his SS checks and hadn't for a couple of years and actually was unable to be traced. He is pretty much missing. Would my daughter qualify to continue receiving SS since she is going in to college and what if her father actually is deceased? Would that qualify her for any assistance? The family, that I keep in touch with, has not heard from him for years. At one point, prior to no longer being heard from, he was living in the streets and homeless.

By DJF

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February 24, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

You should be able to get all the information you need from your local SS office. The only information you need on your ex-husband is his SS number and your daughter's SS number. Age may be a factor here also.

Pay a visit to your local SS office as they are the only ones that can tell you about any benefits.

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February 15, 20140 found this helpful

My 18 year old daughter starts college in August of 2014. Does she continue to draw her dad's Social Security death benefits?

By Christina H.

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February 17, 20140 found this helpful
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I believe as long as they are in school they are able to receive the monies. Why not go to the Social Security Office to get an answer to your question from the ones working there. I think you would be more comfortable having the answer coming from the folks that really know the answer because they work there wouldn't you? I know I would.

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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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By 0 found this helpful
June 9, 2016

My daughter just found out that her child's father passed away. He had never seen his daughter, but he did pay support for her through the court. How does my daughter go about getting her child survivor benefits? She has no information on him such as Social Security or death certificate, she also does not know any of his family. How can she get information to apply? SSA states they cant help her unless she can provide this information.

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By 0 found this helpful
November 30, 2015

I took care of my momma for nearly 3 years and up til she took her last breath I was her caregiver. Can I get survivors benefits?

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December 1, 20150 found this helpful
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Survivor benefits are paid for the care of minor children (or disabled) and some benefits may be paid to a serving spouse at retirement age.

You can check out the Social Security web site and probably find your answer or pay a visit to their office.

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April 20, 20150 found this helpful

Recently my 6 year old daughter's father passed away. I have tried applying for survivor benefits for her twice now. Each time I have brought in her birth certificate, which has his name on it, his death certificate, and a copy of acknowledement of paternity which was provided by vital records in the state my child was born in.

The problem is the AOP I have is not certified and I have been told time and again that I cannot get a certified copy of AOP in the state of New Mexico. Social Security is not accepting my copy and continues to deny my case.

By Sarah

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April 22, 20150 found this helpful
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I believe you should seek help through an attorney who specializes in Social Security matters as they can find a way to resolve this. Many attorneys in this field will take your case without payment until your claim is approved. Make sure you read everything before signing as attorneys charge differently but it is usually a one time fee and generally based on your back payment check and maybe 2 or 3 months of your benefit. There are also different laws in many states so be careful of what you sign. Read everything and ask questions.

Be sure you have all of your papers concerning this matter and maybe you will receive back payment from the first time you filed for benefits. I hope you really filed for benefits and did not just take the word of a SSA clerk.

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February 16, 20150 found this helpful

Can I receive my stepfather's SSI benefits? I am 44 years old.

By David from Brandon, FL

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February 16, 20150 found this helpful
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Talk to the people in your local Social Security Office. They are the ones that know the correct answer. I have only ever heard of minor children and/or spouses receiving Survivor Benefits. Usually the kids lose their benefits between the ages of 16-19.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 25, 2014

Will I still receive my check if my mom signs guardianship over to her boyfriend?

By Chelsea

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February 25, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

How old are you? If you are 18 and have graduated from high school you shouldn't receive survivor's benefits anyway. If you are a minor the check doesn't go directly to you, anyway, because it is supposed to be used to support you. Talk to your local Social Security Office.

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February 20, 20140 found this helpful

My mom passed away when I was 15, and my dad has never been in the picture so my brother took guardianship of me. We went to Social Security to see if I could get survivor's benefits and they denied us. Shouldn't I be getting Social Security money until I turn 18? Please help, I don't know what to do or how to go about this.

By Anthony M.

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February 20, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

Did the Social Security Office tell you why you were denied? There has to be a reason. There is a possibility that your parents have never paid into Social Security, and if they did, not long enough to qualify for drawing benefits. You should receive a letter from them explaining the reason why you were denied. That being said none of us can answer your question.

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