Ask Larry

Is My Child Entitled To Retroactive SSDI Benefits In Addition To Survivor Benefits?

Hi -
My daughter's father recently died and I have begun the application for survivor's benefits. Her father and I were not in communication and I did not know he had been receiving SSDI for nearly a year before his death. Is my child entitled to retroactive SSDI benefits in addition to survivor's benefits? Thank you for any insight you can share.

Hi. Possibly. Applications for auxiliary child benefits on the account of a parent who's receiving Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits can be retroactive for up to 12 months. However, there is a special family maximum benefit (FMB) formula that applies to SSDI accounts which can potentially limit the benefit amount payable to eligible auxiliary beneficiaries to zero.

Therefore, assuming that your child meets the other entitlement requirements (, whether or not she can be paid any back pay based on her father's SSDI eligibility depends largely on her father's primary insurance amount (PIA). If your daughter is eligible for back pay, Social Security should calculate and pay that based on her application for survivor benefits. However, you can't always count on Social Security employees to handle claims correctly. So, I would advise you to discuss this issue with the claims representative handling your daughter's claim for survivor benefits.

Best, Jerry

Dec 14 2022 - 3:57pm
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