Understanding Social Security Survivor Benefits
Jan. 10, 2022
Losing a loved one is often an emotional and overwhelming experience. Fortunately, Social Security survivor benefits are available to help a decedent's family member – spouse, children, and parents – meet daily living expenses which would otherwise have been catered to by the decedent's income. If you have lost a loved one who has worked long enough under Social Security, you may be eligible for survivor benefits.
At Lloyd King Law Firm PLLC, I'm committed to offering experienced legal guidance and compassionate representation to clients in matters related to Social Security survivor benefits. As an experienced North Carolina Social Security benefits attorney, I will help determine your eligibility and guide you through the application process. Using my extensive experience, I will fight diligently to protect your family's best interests and help recover your rightful benefits. My firm proudly serves clients across Raleigh, Roanoke Rapids, Fayetteville, and Greensboro, North Carolina.
How Are Benefits Earned?
Social Security is a federal insurance program that provides benefits to retired people, seniors, people who are unemployed, people who are disabled, and other eligible parties. A person who works and pays Social Security taxes may be eligible for Social Security benefits when they retire or become older. However, if the person dies, their surviving loved ones may be eligible to receive all or part of their Social Security benefits on their behalf. This is referred to as Social Security survivor benefits.
Who Is Eligible for Survivor Benefits?
Generally, the following family members may be eligible to receive survivor benefits:
Parents age 62 or older who were dependent on the decedent
An adopted child, stepchild, grandchild, or step-grandchild, under certain circumstances
An experienced attorney can determine your eligibility and enlighten you about how to apply for Social Security survivor benefits.
How to Apply for Benefits
To apply for Social Security survivor benefits, follow the steps below:
Provide the proof of death. This may be obtained from the funeral home.
Schedule an appointment with the Social Security Administration. Ensure that you go along with the required documentation, including your birth certificate, marriage or divorce certificate, proof of adoption, and most recent W-2 forms.
Provide the account number or bank where you want the Social Security Administration to send the monthly payments.
Applying for Social Security survivor benefits can either be done over the telephone or by visiting the nearest Social Security Office in your area. An experienced attorney can help file your application and enlighten you about the benefit amounts that you may be eligible to recover.
However, there are caps on the amount of Social Security survivor benefits that may be recovered, depending on the decedent's earnings:
If a person retires or becomes disabled, their qualified child will be eligible for up to 50% of the person's full retirement age benefit.
If the person dies, their qualified child will be eligible to receive up to 75% of the person's full retirement age benefit.
Widows or widowers, full retirement age or older, will be eligible to receive 100% of the deceased worker's benefit amount.
Widows or widowers with a disability aged between 50 and 59 will be eligible to receive 71.5% of the deceased worker's benefit amount.
Widows or widowers, regardless of age, caring for a child will be eligible to receive 75% of the deceased worker's benefit amount.
A skilled social security benefits attorney can help determine the survivor benefits amount that you may be entitled to and guide you through the application process.
Getting the Guidance You Need From an Experienced Attorney
Applying for Social Security survivor benefits in North Carolina often involves a lot of complexities. If your deceased spouse or parent worked long enough to qualify for Social Security benefits, you or your family members may be able to receive survivor benefits. An experienced attorney can help determine your eligibility and enlighten you about your possible legal options.
At Lloyd King Law Firm PLLC, I'm poised and ready to assist and guide individuals and families through the complexities involved in applying for Social Security survivor benefits. As your legal counsel, I can:
Evaluate your unique situation and help you understand your available legal options
Determine whether your loved one worked long enough for you to be eligible for survivor benefits
Help file your application for benefits and provide the necessary documentation
Determine the amount you may be entitled to
Help follow up or check the status of your application
Even if your application is denied, I will help you appeal the denial for the survivor benefits. I will continue fighting on your behalf to protect your legal rights and help recover your maximum possible benefit amount.
Contact my firm – Lloyd King Law Firm PLLC – today to schedule a one-on-one consultation with a skilled Social Security benefits attorney. I can offer you the detailed legal counsel, support, and reliable advocacy you need to recover your survivor benefits. My firm proudly serves clients across Raleigh, Roanoke Rapids, Fayetteville, and Greensboro, North Carolina.