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Megan C
Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 15587
Experience:  Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
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My mother-in-law recently passed. She did not work and as

Resolved Question:

My mother-in-law recently passed. She did not work and as a result she was receiving benefits based off of my father-in-law work history. He went to the social security office after her death and he was told that he could not have his check adjusted after her death and she was not eligible for the death benefit. Are both of those statements correct?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Megan C replied 1 year ago.

Megan C :

I realize you have a question about social security. My goal is to provide you with excellent service, and help you better understand your options.

Megan C :

I'm so sorry to hear about your loss

Megan C :

Unfortunately, what your father in law was told is true - your father in law would not get a check adjustment due to the death of your mother in law.

Megan C :

How the death benefit works, is if you have a work history (which she did not) then you have a death benefit equal to what you draw during your lifetime (since she did not work, she does not qualify for a death benefit).

Megan C :

Let's say she did qualify for a death benefit and it was $500 per month. Your father in law could only get that if it were larger than his own benefit.

Megan C :

You can only draw one benefit at a time. So, he could not draw both the death benefit and his own benefit.

Megan C :

I'm truly sorry if you expected otherwise.

Megan C :

Please let me know if I can be of any additional assistance, and please reply and let me know if I have provided you with excellent service today

Customer:

My other question was about the basic $255 death benefit not a recurring one. What I do not understand (and need clarification on) is the following -- did they adjust my father-in-law's benefit down in order to pay my mother-in-law's benefits? If that was the case was it a permanent reduction?

Megan C : Unfortunately if she did not work, she did not accrue a death benefit
Megan C : also, your father in laws benefits were NOT reduced as a result of your mother in law drawing a benefit.
Megan C :

Is there anything else I can assist you with today?

Megan C :

If not, please rate as "excellent" so that I may receive credit for assisting you today

Customer:

That leaves me one question -- how did they determine my mother-in-law's benefits when she did not work?

Megan C :

Your mother in law's benefit was 1/2 of your father in laws benefit, but he still got 100% of what he was entitled to. She just got an additional benefit for being married

Customer:

Thank you...I will rate the answer now

Megan C :

You're welcome. The rating feature is located along the bottom of your screen. 5 stars/smileys indicates excellent service

Megan C, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 15587
Experience: Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level
Megan C and other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
Expert:  Megan C replied 1 year ago.
Thanks for your positive rating. Please come back and visit me any time you have a question that needs answered. It was a pleasure working with you today.

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Megan C
Megan C
Social Security Expert
15587 Satisfied Customers
Licensed CPA, CMA, CFE, CGMA M.Accy Also Teach Accounting courses at Master's Level