The Social Security Administration (SSA) enforces nearly 3,000 rules related to benefits. Most of these rules are variations, exceptions, and small intricacies that can mean the difference between obtaining the benefits one needs and being denied. There also are close to 600 ways to claim Social Security benefits. As a result of these and other factors – including an unfamiliar system – obtaining benefits can be a complex and, for many individuals attempting to navigate the journey without assistance, overwhelming process.
Another consequence of these complexities and numerous rules is that many Social Security benefits go unclaimed. Examples of the commonly overlooked Social Security benefits include:
- Lump Sum Terminal Illness Benefit – In some cases, individuals who delay taking benefits after age 65 but are then diagnosed with a terminal illness before 70 may be eligible to have a beneficiary apply for back benefits in a lump sum payment.
- "Mommy Benefits" – Surviving spouses who have a child under age 16 in their care can collect benefits for the child and themselves as a caregiver.
- Spousal Benefits – Ex-spouses can collect on their divorce spouse's Social Security if they meet certain requirements, including a marriage that lasted 10 years or more and an ex-spouse who is still unmarried. Shockingly, more than 80% of Americans miss out on spousal benefits simply because they are unaware they exist.
The many overlooked and unclaimed Social Security benefits can help remind anyone interested in obtaining benefits about the importance of working with a lawyer. At Disability Action Advocates, our Sacramento Social Security disability lawyers make it a point to fully explore our clients' options to help them obtain the benefits they need and deserve.
If you have questions about navigating the Social Security disability claim or appeal process, call 888-457-3597 for a FREE consultation.