Ayers, Whitlow & Dressler
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What If I Die While My Claim is Pending?

The death of a claimant for Social Security disability benefits does not necessarily mean the end of the claim. When a claimant for Title II Social Security disability benefits passes away, the surviving spouse who is living with the decedent, a child entitled to monthly benefits on decedent's Social Security number, and in some cases parents can pursue back Social Security disability benefits. No ongoing benefits will be paid subsequent to the claimant's death; however, the back benefits can often be substantial and should not be ignored. In an SSI claim, benefits are only paid to the surviving spouse.

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