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Can I keep collecting SSD benefits if my disabled spouse dies?

On Behalf of | Aug 3, 2022 | Social Security Disability Benefits

You and your spouse have combined financial resources throughout your marriage. If your spouse dies while receiving Social Security Disability benefits, you may be concerned about whether you can continue to collect these benefits you need to stay afloat financially. Can you collect SSD benefits based on your deceased spouse’s record?

An overview of survivor’s benefits

Generally, your spouse’s SSD benefits end at death. Payments put into your bank account the month of your spouse’s death have to be returned and the Social Security Administration must be notified of your spouse’s death.

That being said, you may be able to collect survivor’s benefits. If you were already receiving benefits based on your spouse’s record, once the SSA is informed of your spouse’s death, these payments will automatically convert into survivor’s benefits.

However, depending on the circumstances you may not always be able to collect the entire amount of your spouse’s SSD benefits. It depends on whether you yourself are disabled, if you are caring for a disabled child and whether you have reached full retirement age. Whether you have remarried or are working also play a role in how much you can claim in survivor’s benefits.

Survivor’s benefits are not retroactive. Therefore, you do not want to put off applying for survivor’s benefits if you believe you are entitled to them.

Explore your rights to SSD benefits

You will want to explore your right to continue collecting SSD benefits based on your deceased spouse’s record especially if you were depending on these benefits to make ends meet. An attorney can be a good resource for those who are in such situations and are looking for further information.