Reinstating Social Security Survivor Benefits?

I was wondering first, if you can get back pay from Social Security survivor benefits and second, how can you get benefits reinstated?

My husband died 10 years ago when my children were 3 and 5. I was receiving survivor benefits for them for a few years. Somewhere along the line I filled out the paperwork the wrong way or not completely. I am not sure which, but after that I stopped receiving the benefits. I went to a few meetings at the Social Security office, which caused me to take days off of work, to resolve the issue. Each time I was told I needed to come back with more and/or different information. I became fed up as a single parent working two jobs and having to take time again and again off of work I just forgot about it.


Now with my children are in high school and trying to plan out college and I really have to find out if they are still eligible for these benefits that are rightfully theirs and if I can get back pay for the years of missing payments. I would like to find an attorney to hire, but Social Security attorneys won't and can't handle this type of case and estate attorneys say they don't take these sort of cases either. Any adivce?

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September 14, 20150 found this helpful

Only the SSA can answer your questions. You can consider discussing your concerns with an attorney specialized in SS or a legal aid attorney, although legal aid may be a long process.

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September 16, 20150 found this helpful

No one can answer a question like this except the SSA.
You will have to make an appointment and try to take all of the paperwork they have instructed you to provide or it will be another wasted trip.


Many times in a case like this the paperwork you filled out did not satisfy the SS and so they stopped payments. That is the time you should have found out what was wrong and how to correct it. Perhaps you just did not need the money and decided to let it drop. (It would seem this kind of benefit would have been well worth a few days of missed work.)

Usually this type of problem happens when yearly papers/reports do not reflect the "parent" is using the money solely for the care of the children (as that is what this money is for). These reports must show what the money was used for and many people do not fully understand how to complete them. Perhaps this was the case with you.

Most likely no back payments will be paid as it appears it was your responsibility (at that time) to correct the problem.

That being said - benefits are only paid until a child finishes high school and sometimes it ends before that (unless they are disabled). So if your children are in high school there may not be any reason for you to even go to the SSA.

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