Because there are so many claimants who do try to work the system, filing for and obtaining Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits can be a long process that takes months for some people, if not years. Unfortunately, because obtaining SSD benefits can be so time-consuming, it is not uncommon for a claimant to pass away before they are ever approved for their benefits. If you are a spouse of someone who has passed away after filing for their benefits, this can be disheartening, to say the least. Here are a few things you should know if your loved one dies before being approved for their SSD.
You can sometimes continue to pursue the claim after your spouse's death.
Just because the claimant dies, it does not mean that the claim automatically comes to a halt. You can actually continue to pursue the claim even though the actual person who filed the claim has passed away. It is best to hire an SSD lawyer to guide you through this process, as it can be a little more complicated than what it would be if the claimant was still alive. It will become partially your responsibility to prove that the person was actually disabled.
You may receive an underpayment in certain circumstances.
If the SSD administration decides after the person's death that they should have been granted their benefits, the administration may decide that an underpayment is due. The underpayment, which is most often referred to as back pay, is a lump sum payment that comes from the culmination of monthly payments that should have already been made to the claimant. This will date back to when the claimant applied for SSD benefits, so it can sometimes be a substantial payment if the case has been ongoing for a while.
You can even file for SSD on behalf of someone else after their death.
If your spouse died before they ever got the opportunity to file for their SSD, you may be able to file for them even though they have already passed away. There is a brief window of time set forth by the Social Security Administration that gives surviving relatives time to file on behalf of their deceased loved one. If you know that losing your loved one is going to mean a major financial hardship, proceeding with filing for them could be a really good idea, and an attorney can help you do so.
For more information, contact a company like Parmele Law Firm, PC.