Life changes that qualify you for higher Social Security benefits

Life, as everyone knows, is full of changes that occur with regularity from infancy through the senior years. When you reach retirement age, it’s important to know how certain life changes can affect your Social Security benefits.

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In many cases, you can qualify for a higher benefit because of life changes. This might happen due to your own earnings record or someone else’s record, the Tribune-Star reported.

Here are some scenarios where you might qualify for higher Social Security or Supplemental Security Income benefits based on life changes:

  • Death of a spouse or ex-spouse: When this happens, you could get a higher benefit based on your spouse or ex-spouse’s earnings record, according to the Social Security Administration. This is the case even if you already receive a survivor benefit from another spouse.

  • Earnings record: This comes into play if you are currently receiving Social Security benefits based on your spouse’s work history. If you also worked and earned credits, you might qualify for a higher retirement benefit based on your own work record.

  • Deceased adult child: You might be eligible for a higher parent’s benefit if your deceased adult child provided at least half of your financial support.

  • A parent’s work history: If you currently receive Social Security benefits based on your parent’s work history and you have also worked, you could receive a higher disability benefit based on your own earnings. However, you must have worked long enough and recently enough to qualify, according to the Phoenix-based Dayes Law Firm.

  • Worsening physical condition: If you currently receive SSI, you might qualify for a higher disability benefit if you have a worsening condition that affects your earnings.

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To learn more, visit the SSA site, which you’ll find here, dedicated to benefits you might be due. No matter how your benefits are impacted by life changes, it’s important to notify the SSA whenever a life change occurs.

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This article originally appeared on Social Security: Certain Life Changes Can Qualify You for Higher Benefits — What Are They?

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