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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Sep 4, 2012.

Question

My father had died when I was 8 and I just recently found out who he was. I am now 27 and have been speaking to my sisters from my father that I just recently met and they said when he died they received SSI benefits which I did not. Am I still eligible to collect the SSI that I never received as I did not know until recently he was my father?

Answer

If you are disabled, and became so before the age of 22, you may be eligible to collect Social Security survivor benefits based on your father’s earning record.  Visit http://www.socialsecurity.gov/    for more information. 

Otherwise, no, you would not be eligible.  Survivor benefits paid to children of deceased parents are intended to reduce the hardship incurred by the loss of a wage-earner.  These benefits are paid to minors, up to the age of 18 or 19, and are typically used for essential living expenses and/or college savings.


For additional information visit http://www.360financialliteracy.org/