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Ask Dr. Fiona Chen Your Own Question
Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 355
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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My 23 year old grandson died on the basket ball court as

Customer Question

my 23 year old grandson died on the basket ball court as FSU. May I apply for refund of his social security and medicare benefits. We have set up a scholarship fund in his honor with one recipient to date. Thought those funds will help. thanks Loretta J
JA: These retirement benefits are supposed to help us but they can be so complicated! The Retirement Expert will help you get the most benefits propertly. Is there anything else important you think the Retirement Accountant should know?
Customer: I would be willing to submit his death certificate.
Submitted: 2 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 2 months ago.

Dear Customer,

There is a one time death benefit of $255 from the SSA. It is usually for surviving spouse and child. I am not sure for adult child, the parents can qualify.

I am not sure what you meant by refund of his social security and medicare benefit. These taxes are deducted from payroll taxes on wages. They are contributed to a pool of insurance for all taxpayers who participated. If he passed away, his contribution, the payroll taxes deducted remain in the pool to help other participants.

As to your situation for funds and source of money, there could potentially be a relatively large wrongful death issue and compensation issue, apparently, considering where he passed away at his young age, which you may want to consider to consult an attorney who practice in the area.

Please feel free to follow up.

Regards,

Fiona

Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP

Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 2 months ago.

Dear Customer,

I am reading your post again. Unless he was on social security disability, he should not have been qualified for any social security and medicare benefits. The amount of taxes he contributed, if he worked, he contributed will stay in the trust for the social security and medicare and disability to benefit other participants. He might not have contributed enough credits to qualify for survival spouse and/or children benefit. But the SSA is the final authority, you still would like to check with them.

As to the potential wrongful death recovery, you probably have investigated, nevertheless, is still a venue to get funds and recovery. If he has no spouse or children, you are the closest relatives, you may want to retain attorney for consultation.

I am sorry to say these. But we are accountants. Some of the things we have to say is not so pleasant but is direct and necessary. I am so sorry for your loss.

Regards,

Fiona

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