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Do I need to return SSDI benefits payments when someone dies?

On Behalf of | Nov 20, 2015 | Social Security Disability

The death of a family member, especially a close one, is hard enough. Ohioans going through the grieving process can find the sense of loss can be compounded when the surviving family members realize how much there is to do to get the person’s affairs in order. For older people or those who were disabled and receiving benefits from the Social Security Administration, there is even more to think about. So what does the SSA suggest?

First, and probably most important, is to notify the SSA of the individual’s demise. While this is often done by a funeral director or other professional, the family may need to give him or her information, such as the deceased’s social security number, to facilitate notification. Further, it is likely unwise to simply assume that the agency was notified, so following up may be key.

Sometimes, the timing of death or delays in the notification or other internal SSA procedures can result in benefits being paid to the decedent after his or her death. It is important for family members to remember that any monies received for the month of death or after may have to be paid back to the administration. The SSA recommends not cashing any benefits checks that come for the decedent, and returning them to the SSA as soon as practicable. If the deceased person’s SSDI or SSI benefits came through direct deposit, it may be a good idea to contact the financial institution involved and request that the funds be returned.

Finally, there may be situations in which certain family members are eligible for benefits from the SSA obtained directly from the SSA or, alternatively, family members may consider contacting an experienced Ohio disability attorney.