If a Parent Passes Away, Who Receives Their Social Security in Arkansas?

Social Security pays more than just retirement benefits.  In many cases, you may be able to claim disability benefits through the Social Security Administration’s (SSA’s) Social Security Disability (SSD).  SSD is designed to help disabled Americans continue to receive wages that can pay them monthly benefits to support themselves and their dependents.  In many cases, spouses, ex-spouses, and children can claim benefits through their family member’s benefits.  Even if the parent or spouse is deceased, the other family members may be able to continue using their work history to gain disability benefits.  For a free consultation and more information on receiving your deceased parent’s Social Security Disability, call Fayetteville AR disability lawyer Ken Kieklak today.

Claiming Disability Through a Parent

When a parent receives disability, their children and their spouse may also be able to get benefits.  In many cases, the parent must be receiving disability benefits in their own right before anyone else can get benefits through them.  This means that they must meet the qualifications for receiving disability benefits.

To qualify for available disability benefits, you must have a condition that is so severe that it prevents you from working.  The SSA keeps a list of disabilities that qualify for SSD, but the disabling condition does not need to be on that list to qualify as long as it is as severe as a similar condition on the list.  This requires special approval.  Either way, the condition must be “severe.”  To meet the SSA’s definition of severe, it must be a condition that is expected to last for over a year or end in your death.  It must also be bad enough to keep you from being able to go to work.  If you meet all of these and prove that you cannot perform job tasks to make enough money to support yourself, you can qualify for disability.

To receive Social Security Disability Income (SSDI), you need to have a sufficient work history.  This means paying your Social Security taxes for a sufficient number of years while you worked.  If you do not have enough work credits to support your SSDI, you may be able to apply for need-based Supplemental Security Income (SSI) instead, which follows different rules.

Spouses can claim disability benefits through their spouse’s disability if they are 62 years old or older, or if they care for a child who is under 16.  This means that disability can help both older and younger families get ongoing support through their spouse, without requiring them to have their own work history.

Children can also claim benefits through their parents.  Minor children can claim benefits through their parent’s benefits, but if the parent’s spouse already gets benefits to care for them, this may already be covered.  Adult children who face their own disabilities can also claim benefits through their parent.  Even if the parent is not disabled, if the child’s disability started before they were 22 years old, they may be able to continue to accept benefits through SSDI because of their parent’s work history.

In many cases, people under 65 years old face a penalty to their benefits compared to what they would have received if their Social Security was paid after they reached the age of retirement.  In many cases, spouses and children also receive 50% of what their disabled family member would receive through SSDI.

Getting Social Security Disability Through a Deceased Parent

Unmarried children under the age of 18 may be able to use their parent’s benefits, even if the parent has passed away.  Alternatively, the deceased’s spouse may be able to claim benefits for themselves and put them toward the support of a child if the child is under 16 years old.  Lastly, the child may be able to receive their own benefits if their disability started before they were 22 years old.  Many of these benefits may continue – or begin – based on a parent’s work history, even after the parent’s death.

If you begin receiving benefits as a child, they should be paid up to 75% of what your parent would have received through their own disability payments.  This can be a great help toward supporting you, even after your parent has passed on.  These benefits, however, end when you turn 18.

Disabled children can continue to claim benefits after they turn 18 years old under certain rules.  As long as the injury arose before they were 22, they can continue to receive 75% of the benefits their parent would have received.  These last as long as the disability continues.  The benefits do stop if the child gets married because they will be expected to use their spouse’s benefits instead.

Grandchildren who directly raise their grandchildren instead of the parents can also pass these benefits on to their dependent grandchildren under very similar rules.

Fayetteville Disability Lawyer for Children and Spouses

If you have lost a parent or spouse, their work record may be able to support your claims for disability benefits.  Talk to our Fayetteville disability lawyers today for help understanding how you can claim disability through a deceased parent or spouse.  For a free consultation, call Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, at (479) 316-0438.