Can My Friend Receive Benefits For Her Child?

Aug 5 2016 - 11:45am

I have a friend who is 26 and not working. On March 20, 2016 her 58 year old boy friend was killed by a person who was in a high speed pursuit by police, in North Highlands, Ca. They lived together and have a daughter who just turned Two on July 3, 2016. Her boy friend was self employed as a Landscaper. I'm not sure if he did not pat his taxes or did not claim to work. But I know when she applied for benefits for their daughter she was denied .She was told he did not have enough credits for the baby to qualify. Thus my Question: Is there anyway that she would qualify for benefits. Right now she has applied for welfare, but has no other incoming income. She has depleted all her savings at this point and not only grieving but now fears she no way to pay her rent or bills. I sure hope there will be some good news for her.
Sincerely Adrienne
a concerned friend!

Hi Adrienne,

Social Security does pay benefits to children of deceased workers, but only if the deceased paid into Social Security long enough to be insured. A person who dies at age 58 would need roughly 36 quarters of coverage (i.e. the equivalent of 9 years) to be fully insured, or 6 quarters of coverage within the last 13 calendar quarters of their life to be currently insured.

If your friend filed a claim with Social Security and was denied because the deceased was not insured, there is probably not much hope. She could appeal the unfavorable decision, but without submitting additional evidence such as proof that he had earnings that have not been credited to his earnings record, her appeal is not likely to be approved. Even if he had recent uncredited earnings, it wouldn't make any difference unless he was only a few quarters of coverage short of being insured. Plus, if he was self-employed and didn't receive W-2 forms, it would involve filing tax returns on his behalf and paying any taxes owed.

Sorry I can't be of more help.

Best, Jerry