Nothing is more traumatic than losing a family member, especially at a young age. When mom and dad are lost, the family loses both emotional and financial support. Surviving children are often entitled to survivor’s benefits that can at least ease the financial burden from the loss of the parents’ income. When working parents die, the children (or their guardian) can consult with a Social Security disability attorney to see if they qualify for help from a federal program.
While virtually everyone is familiar with the retirement benefits provided by the Social Security program and many are familiar with the disability benefits provided, not all are aware that survivor benefits are also available. When it comes to children, this is one of the most generous government programs available for financial assistance. In many cases, these benefits far outweigh the benefits the children will receive through existing life insurance policies.
In order for surviving family members to be eligible, the deceased must have worked a specific amount of years. Regardless of the situation, though, that time period will never exceed ten years. Generally, the younger the deceased, the less time needed to work. There are also additional rules in place for parents that have only worked 1.5 years prior to the three years of their death.
To be eligible for survivor benefits, children must be under the age of 18 (an exception to the age of 19 is given if the child is still in grade or secondary school as a full time student). If the child was disabled before reaching his or her 22nd birthday or is disabled at the time of parental death, he or she is also eligible for benefits. Because the process and rules can be difficult to understand, it is always recommended to consult with a Social Security disability attorney prior to filing for benefits.
In all cases, the amount of benefits received will be dependent upon how much money was earned during the lifetime of the working parent(s). It is wise for living parents to review their Social Security status every year to see what benefits their children will be entitled to just in case something does happen to them. This will also help them secure additional financial policies if needed for their children.
When filing for survivor benefits, time is of the essence. We realize the pain and anguish of this time makes it difficult to think clearly, which is why disability attorneys can play such a crucial role during these trying times. The attorney can help secure all documents needed and aid in the submission of all paperwork to ensure the benefactors receive all benefits to which they are entitled.