How Much in Benefits Could You Receive?

The amount that you could expect to receive in Social Security survivors benefits will be dependent on your relationship to the decedent and the amount of money the decedent paid into the Social Security Administration’s Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program.

Generally, you might expect anywhere between 50% and 100% of the decedent’s full retirement age benefit. However, there is also a maximum benefit allowed of up to 180% of the decedent’s full retirement age benefit.

Additionally, there may be a limit on the amount of survivors benefits children can receive if they are currently receiving Social Security benefits. This includes self-employment or wages. However, it does not consider the Social Security benefits they will receive from payments paid into their parent’s SSDI records.

How Are Benefits Determined for Spouses & Children?

The amount paid out in survivors benefits is based on the amount of Social Security contributions the decedent made over the course of their life. However, there may be other factors taken into consideration as well, such as:

  • The decedent’s relationship status at the time of their passing
  • How many times the decedent was previously married, if any
  • How long the decedent was married
  • Whether the decedent has minor or adult children
  • Whether the decedent has disabled children
  • The age of the decedent at the time of their passing
  • The age of the survivor at the time of the decedent’s death
  • The number of work credits the decedent earned before their passing

How Long Do Benefits Last for Spouses & Children?

The length of time you can collect survivors benefits depends on many factors, including your age, whether you remarry, and other factors.

How Long Do Benefits Last for Spouses?

Surviving spouses may be entitled to the survivors benefits for the remainder of their life unless they choose to remarry. Benefits will be divided equally between the decedent’s surviving children and the spouse.

However, if a surviving spouse does choose to remarry, they may be entitled to one lump sum payment valued at approximately two years’ worth of survivors benefits.

According to Texas Labor Code 504.055, surviving spouses of first responders will be able to continue receiving survivor benefits for the rest of their life even if they choose to remarry.

How Long Do Benefits Last for Children?

Certain types of survivor benefits will cease when a minor child reaches 18 unless that child has a disability or is currently a student.

Children with mental or physical disabilities who were dependent on the decedent will be entitled to survivors benefits until they are no longer considered disabled or passed away.

Adult children without disabilities can continue receiving benefits until they reach the age of 18 or 25 if they start attending an accredited college program full-time.

Adult children who were dependent on the decedent for a reason not involving physical or mental disability may be entitled to survivor benefits for up to 364 weeks after the decedent’s death.

What About the Decedent’s Grandchildren & Parents?

Additionally, grandchildren who were 20% or more dependent on the decedent at the time of the decedent’s passing may be able to collect survivor benefits until they reach the age of 18. The decedent’s parents may be entitled to survivor benefits if there are no other qualifying beneficiaries. The decedent’s parents can collect survivor benefits for 104 weeks.

What is the Process for Applying for Social Security Survivors Benefits?

If you are interested in applying for survivor benefits, you will need to visit your local Texas Social Security office or apply by phone. Your Social Security disability lawyer can help gather the evidence and documentation you will need to prove the decedent’s passing to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

Here are some other types of supporting evidence you should be prepared to include:

  • Copies of the decedent’s most recent W-2 forms
  • A copy of the decedent’s birth certificate
  • A copy of your marriage certificate
  • The Social Security numbers of the decedent
  • Your children’s Social Security numbers
  • A divorce decree

It is not uncommon for the Social Security Administration to deny claims for survivor benefits. If this happens, you have the right to pursue an appeal. This might include requesting a reconsideration, having a hearing before an administrative law judge, moving forward with a review by the appeals council, or ultimately bringing your case to federal court for review.

Social Security survivors benefits are retroactive. So, if your claim is initially denied, do not apply again, as this could cause you to lose months of benefits you might have otherwise been entitled to once your claim was approved.

How Can a Lawyer Help with this Process?

Having a Social Security disability lawyer in Texas working for you may be the best way to get your questions answered, ensure you meet the eligibility requirements for survivors benefits, and be prepared to deal with the SSA if your claim for benefits is initially denied.

Your Social Security lawyer will be able to help you prepare your appeal, gather any necessary supporting documents, correct any mistakes that were made on your initial, and work with you to get your claim for survivors benefits approved.

Contact a Texas Social Security Disability Lawyer for Help Today

If you are interested in learning more about whether you qualify for social security disability survivors benefits or need help appealing a denied claim, do not hesitate to contact a reputable Texas social security disability lawyer at Kemmy Law Firm for a no-cost, risk-free consultation. Fill out our convenient contact form or call our office at (210) 750-1019 to schedule yours as soon as today.