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Social Security Eligibility/Increase in Benefits?

Date: 10/1/2017

Author: Financial Hotline

Social Security - Are You Eligible for Benefits or an Increase in Benefits?

It’s not unusual for a benefit recipient’s circumstances to change after they apply or became eligible for benefits.

If you, or a family member, receive Social Security or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), certain life changes may affect eligibility for an increase in your federal benefits. For example, if your spouse or ex-spouse dies, you may become eligible for a higher Social Security benefit.

The questions and answers below are about a few of the life changes that could possibly make you eligible or increase your benefits.

- Has your spouse or ex-spouse died?

- Is your adult child who was helping to support you deceased?

- Are you receiving Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s work?

- Are you receiving Social Security benefits based on your parent’s work?

- Are you currently unmarried but formerly married for 10 years or more?

- Is your child entitled to Social Security child’s benefits based on your spouse’s work?

- Are you currently entitled to retirement or disability benefits and have a child in your care who is under age 18 or disabled?

- Are you receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) or Social Security benefits and have past military service?

- Are you receiving Supplemental Security Income (SSI) and have a parent who is deceased or receiving Social Security benefits?

- Has your income declined or have you experienced a loss of financial resources?

To find out if you, or a family member, might be eligible for a benefit based on another person’s work, or a higher benefit based on your own work, see more information about benefits on the Social Security website www.SSA.gov or call 800-772-1213. You can also use the Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool (BEST) https://ssabest.benefits.gov to find out if you could get other benefits that Social Security administers. Based on your answers to questions, this tool will list benefits for which you might be eligible and tell you more information about how to qualify and apply.

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