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How Seniors Can Maximize Their Social Security Disability, Auxiliary, or Survivors' Benefits

Released: 12/1/2020

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There are many options when it comes to Social Security benefits for seniors. However, seniors need to choose carefully and plan for their Social Security benefits in order to get the most value from those benefits. When seniors reach the official retirement age their benefits can change and having a plan for how to maximize those benefits can make a big difference in the amount of benefits that they receive.

Social Security Disability Benefits for Seniors

Some seniors decide to take early retirement because they have a medical condition that makes it difficult to work. However, taking early retirement at age 62 means that you will only receive a portion of the payment that you would get if you waited until the official retirement age. Over time that can end up costing you thousands of dollars in benefits. Seniors who have a condition that qualifies them for Social Security disability benefits should apply for disability benefits before they take early retirement. If you apply for Social Security disability benefits before you take early retirement you can be eligible to receive a full retirement benefit payment instead of just a partial payment. That maximizes your benefits and will help you make ends meet financially.

Auxiliary Benefits

If you are the spouse of someone that is receiving disability benefits you can file a claim for auxiliary benefits and receive benefits based on the benefits that your spouse receives. You must have a medical condition that qualifies you on your own to receive disability benefits. If you do, you can be approved for auxiliary benefits that draw off of your spouse's benefits.

Survivors' Benefits

If your spouse passes away you can receive Survivor's Benefits from the Social Security Administration based on what your spouse earned over their working life. If you didn't work during the marriage these Survivor's Benefits can be a big help when it comes to meeting your living expenses after your spouse passes away. You can receive between 75% and 100% of the benefits that your spouse would have received. Ex-spouses can also apply for Survivor's Benefits based on the earnings of an ex-spouse if the marriage lasted for at least ten years and if the claiming spouse never remarried.

Applying for Social Security Benefits

When you apply for Social Security benefits to maximize your potential benefits the best thing to do is to apply in person. Make an appointment at your local SSA office and bring with you all of your financial and medical documentation, including information and documentation for your spouse if you are applying for Auxiliary or Survivors' Benefits. A staff member at the SSA office will go over all of your options and help you apply for whatever benefits you are eligible for so that you can get the highest benefit amount possible. Going over all of the options can be confusing for some seniors. If you want to bring a spouse or a loved one or a caregiver to the appointment to help you with all of the paperwork and options that is allowed.

Resources:

Senior Transportation Connection: https://ridestc.org/
Disability Benefits: https://www.disabilitybenefitscenter.org/disability_benefits.shtml
Survivor Benefits: https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/survivors/
Local SSA Office: https://www.disabilitybenefitscenter.org/state-social-security-disability



 
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