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Receiving Mother's Disability Benefits

My mother just recently got approved for disability. She was dying from Cancer at the time. She died on July 20, after they awarded her disability. I think they are going to backdate it from January of this year. My question is, do both my sister and I get those benefits since they were awarded to her before she died? Also, she was still married to my father, but they were estranged for 15 years. If we can't find him do we still get her benefits? Just wondering.

Updated : October 8, 2012 by samsara167


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Back payment of disability benefits upon death

October 8, 2012 by David Luhman

Regarding this, the SSA states the following :

If a person dies before payment is made can payment be collected by the estate?

An underpayment of benefits due on behalf of a deceased beneficiary is payable to the next of kin or to the legal representative of the estate under the following order of priority established by law:

  1. A spouse who was living with the beneficiary when he or she died or a spouse entitled on the same earnings record,
  2. A child entitled on the same earnings record,
  3. A parent entitled on the same earnings record,
  4. A spouse not entitled on the same earnings record,
  5. A child not entitled on the same earnings record,
  6. A parent not entitled on the same earnings record, or
  7. A legal representative of the estate.

An underpayment must be paid in this order. If no one qualifies in the first category, then we proceed to the second category, and so on. In order for a payment to be due, the deceased beneficiary must have lived throughout the entire month for which the check was issued.

To claim the underpayment, you will need to file Form SSA-1724 at your local office. Your can also call 1-800-772-1213 for instructions. People who are deaf or hard of hearing may call our toll-free TTY number, 1-800-325-0778, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on Monday through Friday.

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