Ask Larry

Am I Eligible To Receive Benefits On My Deceased Parent's Record?

Hi I am new to all the SSA business. My questions are pretaining to myself who is disabled and receive SSDI and my deceased parents. I was diagnosed in my 30s but the onset of the illness was around when I was 9 years old, its MS, Multiple Sclerosis. Because no one knew what it was, I was not treated until I was diagnosed with it. However both my parents are deceased now. They both were getting their retirement benefits. I took care of and lived with them both before they passed. Am I eligible to receive their benefits as DAC ? If so, will I still be considered or eligible for my own benefits?
My dad also was remarried. But he was separated 7 of the 10 years they were married. He did not financially take care of her nor were they living together. How can she still be eligible to his benefits and not his family. She was abusive as to why he had to leave. Plus she is on drugs. Is there anyway I can inform SSA of her actions and what was going on? She does not need his benefits to survive but I do. She just wants it because it's free money. I only get the minimum amount because SSA said I did not put enough money into the system, so that meant my children didnt receive any benefits even though they were all under the age 18. I also read where my son could possibly receive a one time death benefit because we lived with both my parents in the same house hold. Is that true? If so how do we go about filing for that?
Thanks so much for giving me a way to ask these questions and more. I really need to know what we qualify for.


I'm sorry to hear about your illness. You could only qualify for disabled adult child's (DAC) benefits on the record of a deceased parent if your are unmarried and it can be established that your impairment became disabling prior to age 22. If sounds like that might be difficult in your case if your condition wasn't diagnosed until after you turned age 22, but you could still apply for benefits. Social Security would then evaluate whatever medical records are available from when you were under age 22 in order to determine if you met their definition of disability at that time. And if their decision is unfavorable, you would have the option of filing an appeal.

Financial support and having been separated during a marriage are not factors considered when determining eligibility for widow's benefits. Nor does it matter how a widow spends her money or whether or not she needs Social Security benefits to survive. As long as your father was legally married at the time of his death and the marriage lasted at least 9 months, then his widow could potentially qualify for widow's benefits if she meets the other requirements (

Social Security's $255 one time lump sum death benefit ( can only be paid to a surviving spouse, or to a child of the deceased worker who qualifies for child's benefits on the deceased's record for the month of death.

Best, Jerry

Feb 20 2019 - 10:05am
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