What Happens to my Disability Claim if I Pass Away?

People are entitled to pursue and recover Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits when a long-term injury or illness prevents them from engaging in a substantial gainful activity. However, when a person passes away, the Social Security Administration (SSA) should be notified as soon as possible about the disabled person’s death. This is because when a person dies, his or her Social Security Disability benefits essentially come to an end.

If you are interested in determining your eligibility for SSD benefits, it is important that you have a knowledgeable and experienced Orange County SSD attorney on your side every step of the way. Your attorney can assist you with pursuing these benefits, and if necessary, appealing a claim denial. Moreover, if your loved one was an SSD recipient and has recently passed away, a knowledgeable Orange County SSD attorney could examine your survivor rights.

Notify the SSA  

The first step that you should take upon the death of an SSD recipient is to notify the Social Security Administration. In many instances, funeral homes will automatically notify the SSA about a deceased individual’s death. At other times, the executor of the deceased individual’s estate – or in some cases a surviving spouse – could notify the government about the deceased’s passing away.

Stopping SSD Payments Following a Person’s Death

A deceased individual is not ordinarily entitled to SSD benefits for the month of his or her death. If these benefits are received for that month, the decedent’s survivor will need to return them. If the benefits are directly deposited into a bank account, the financial institution should return them.

Potential SSD Benefits for Survivors   

In some cases, when an SSD recipient passes away, that persons’ surviving spouse might be eligible for some or all those benefits. For example, if the deceased individual’s widow or widower has attained full retirement age, then they are eligible to receive the full SSD benefit for their deceased spouse.

The decedent’s surviving spouse must call the Social Security Administration and set up a time for him or her to make an application for survivor benefits. Unfortunately, this process cannot be completed over the internet.

It is also important to keep in mind that when an SSD Recipient dies, a surviving spouse or child will typically receive a lump sum in the amount of $255.

A knowledgeable Orange County SSD attorney can assist you with pursuing the benefits that you need if a long-term disability or illness prevents you from working at any job, and in any capacity (meaning you are unable to engage in a substantial gainful activity – or SGA).

Moreover, in the event your deceased loved one was an SSD recipient who has recently passed away, a knowledgeable Orange County SSD attorney will be able to determine your eligibility for pursuing and recovering survivor benefits from the SSA. If you’re eligible, your attorney can assist you with completing the necessary paperwork and pursuing the maximum amount of survivor benefits that are available to you.