Is There Any Way To Appeal This?

Sep 23 2017 - 12:35pm

My ex-husband recently passed. He was collecting SSD. I applied for survivor benefits for my minor son. While at the local social security office the person helping me advised that my ex did not notify social security that he had minor children back when he applied for SSD, no the children are not entitled to back benefits. Is there any way to appeal this? He had 3 minor child when he initially applied for SSD approximately 4 years ago. Also, child support was being taken from his SSD benefit so how could they not have known? Thanks in advance.


You first must file a claim and receive a formal determination before you can file an appeal. It sounds like the problem in your case is that retroactive benefits are limited to no more than 6 months prior to when a person files their application. If no timely application or protective filing was established on behalf of your children, then Social Security is limited by the law as to what they can do. Still, though, it probably wouldn't hurt to formally pursue the issue of back pay in order to make sure that all of the facts of your family's case are considered.

I assume that you've been awarded survivor benefits for your child that's currently a minor, so you can appeal the decision not to back date his claim to when he first would have qualified for child's benefits. At a minimum, it sounds like Social Security should have awarded him back benefits for 6 months prior to the month that you filed his application. Be sure to file your appeal timely, though, because you only have 60 days from the date of the award notice in which to do so, although Social Security can make exceptions for late appeals under certain circumstances.

Assuming that your other children who could have qualified for child's benefits while your ex was receiving disability benefits are now legally adults, they would need to file their own claims for retroactive benefits, and their own appeals if necessary. There is a maximum family benefit rate on disability records that limits benefits to children to no more than what one child would qualify for, so if more than one of your children are awarded retroactive benefits dating to when your ex was on disability they will have to split the amount payable.

Best, Jerry