Losing a spouse is devastating, and coping with the loss of a spouse can be even more complicated when he or she was the main financial provider for the family. If you are a surviving spouse, or you were dependent on an individual who has passed away, you could be eligible for widows and widowers benefits, also known as survivor’s benefits. Social Security survivors benefits are often life-changing, as they help surviving spouses meet their financial needs.
At Roeschke Law, LLC in Las Vegas, our experienced lawyers have helped many Las Vegas residents successfully obtain widows and widowers benefits. Our Las Vegas death benefits lawyers and legal staff are here to offer our support for you during this difficult time. We will patiently listen to your concerns. Our skilled lawyers will guide you through every step of applying for survivors benefits, so you can focus on celebrating the life of your loved one with your family. Contact our Las Vegas Social Security benefits law firm today to schedule your initial consultation.
Eligibility for Social Security Survivors Benefits
You will need to meet certain requirements to obtain Social Security survivors benefits. With over 30 years of legal experience, our survivors benefits lawyers and support team can help you determine whether you qualify for widows or widowers benefits after reviewing your case. You could be eligible for a survivor benefit, even if you have never worked yourself.
Applicants must have been married to your spouse for at least nine months before the spouse passed away. If you were divorced at the time of your spouse’s death, you could still qualify for benefits if you had been married for at least 10years. Finally, you must be age 60 or older or have a “child in care.” If you are disabled yourself, you can qualify as long as you are age 50 or over.
What does it mean to have a “child in care”?
Applicants do not have to meet the age requirements for survivors’ benefits when they have a “child in care.” If you are taking care of a child of the deceased spouse who is under the age of 16 or disabled, you will meet the child-in-care exception. The Social Security Administration calculates child in care benefits differently than they calculate survivors benefits. Additionally, earning limits apply to any child in care benefits you receive before your Full Retirement Age.
Calculating Widows and Widowers Benefits
The calculation of survivors benefits is somewhat complicated. The Social Security Administration determines the percentage of survivors benefits based on your age when you apply for benefits and your deceased spouse’s Social Security benefit. The minimum amount of benefits you can receive is 71.5 percent of your deceased spouse’s benefit if you are age 60 or older when you claim the benefit. The same percentage applies if you are over the age of 50 and disabled. The maximum amount you can receive is up to 100 percent of your deceased spouse’s benefit if you claim the benefits at your Full Retirement Age, age 66 or above for those born between 1945 and 1956.
The Full Retirement Age increases by two months every year between 1957 and 1961. For those born after 1962, the full retirement age is 67. If your spouse had already claimed his or her Social Security benefits before passing away, the survivors benefit is based on when your spouse claimed her or his retirement benefit. The later a person claims retirement benefits, the greater the survivors benefit. For example, when a deceased spouse claims his retirement benefits at age 62, then his surviving spouse would be entitled to $20,500 in benefits. However, when a deceased spouse claimed retirement benefits at age 70, the survivors benefit would be $33,000.
When a deceased spouse passes away before claiming Social Security benefits but after reaching Full Retirement Age, the surviving spouse will receive the full amount the deceased spouse would have received. When the deceased spouse passes away before reaching the Full Retirement Age, the surviving spouse will receive a percentage of the spouse’s benefits based on the deceased spouse’s age when he or she passed away. As you see, the regulations for calculating survivor’s benefits are incredibly complex. At Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas, we will review your case and help you determine your benefit amount.
Disabled Widow Benefits (DWB)
Are you a disabled widow or widower who needs supplemental income? If you were married for 10 years or more, and your spouse has passed away, you could qualify for Disabled Widow Benefits (DWB). These benefits are available for the widowers, widows, and surviving divorced spouses between the ages of 50 and 60. You will need to show that you became disabled before your spouse’s death, or within seven years of your spouse’s death.
The Benefits of Hiring a Widows and Widowers Benefits Lawyer
While applicants can file their applications without hiring a lawyer, they may make errors when filling out their applications. When an application has errors, the benefits can be delayed or denied entirely. We will help you determine whether you qualify for survivors benefits, help you secure all necessary documentation, and file all of the required paperwork. Hiring one of the experienced lawyers at Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas will help you ensure that your application doesn’t include any of the following common mistakes:
- Forgetting to include a thorough and complete work history
- Leaving out any medical details
- Making errors when entering your work information
- Mistakenly entering incorrect dates
- Using the wrong ID or code numbers
- Making typos or other types of errors that can make the application difficult to process
- Not including all proper and helpful documentation
Contact Our Experienced Lawyers Today
With Roeschke Law, LLC Las Vegas assisting you, you can rest assured that your survivors benefits application will be correct, complete, and submitted on time. If the Social Security Administration denies your claim, and your claim proceeds to a hearing, our law firm will represent you throughout your appeal. Contact our widows and widowers benefits lawyers today to schedule your initial consultation and learn how we can help you.