Am I Owed More Than Social Security Is Giving Me?

Mar 16 2019 - 4:03pm

I am confused. When my father started getting his social security, he asked about me getting a portion since I was disabled before age 22. They said no. When he passed away 2/2016 I got the $255 death benefit and then began getting $295 monthly which they told me is reduced since he was getting a private pension of roughly $200 and state college pension and VA benefits of roughly $800. I just read that the Windfall Elimination Provision doesn't apply to survivor benefits. I am the only person on his record that qualifies. I also asked about back pay and they said I didn't qualify because I hit SGA a few times. But... each attempt where I did hit SGA was considered a failed work attempt. Am I possibly owed more than what they are giving me? If so, how could I make that happen?

Hi,

I assume that what you're receiving is a disabled adult child's (DAC) benefit. If so, it sounds like what you should be receiving is 75% of your father's primary insurance amount (PIA) calculated without any reduction resulting from the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP). WEP doesn't apply to survivor benefits, so it wouldn't have anything to do with your benefit rate. If you believe that you should be getting a higher rate or that you should have been entitled to benefits sooner, you may be able to appeal Social Security's determination. Refer to the following Social Security publication for more information on appeals: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10041.pdf.

DAC benefits can normally only be paid for a maximum of 6 months prior to the month you apply for them, unless your parent is receiving Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits in which case the maximum is 12 months. If you didn't apply for DAC benefits sooner due to misinformation you received from Social Security, an earlier deemed filing date may be possible. For information on what you would need to do to prove misinformation, refer to the following section of Social Security's operations manual: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200204008.

Best, Jerry