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What Happens When Claimants Die Before Their Social Security Disability Benefits Are Awarded?

by | Jul 20, 2015 | Social Security Disability |


The process for appealing a denial of Social Security disability benefits is a long one. In Mobile, it can take 14 to 16 months to have a hearing scheduled. This can easily result in loss of property and cause claimants to go into debt. In rare instances, the worst can happen – a claimant can die before he or she is awarded benefits. If this occurs, what happens to the past due benefits? It depends on the type of benefits awarded.

Disability Insurance Benefits (“DIB” or “SSDI”) are usually payable to a surviving spouse, child, parent, or legal representative of the estate of the deceased individual.

On the other hand, Supplemental Security Income (“SSI”) is only payable to a surviving spouse or, if the decedent was a disabled child, to a surviving parent.

The rules for who can receive Social Security disability underpayments can be complex. For example, there are steps one must go through to prove that they meet the Social Security Administration’s definition of “surviving spouse.”

If your loved one has died waiting on Social Security disability benefits, and you have questions regarding what will happen to their claim, call Gardberg & Kemmerly, P.C. today at 251-343-1111 and talk to one of our experienced disability attorneys.


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