A Deceased Wage Earner is an individual who has paid into the Social Security system and has passed away. This individual has earned SSA work credits but is no longer around to claim the benefits that he or she may have been entitled to.
In some cases, a surviving member of the family or an estate can receive back benefits that were due to the deceased wage earner before he or she died. For example, it is not uncommon for a Social Security Disability applicant to be denied benefits during the initial stage of the application process. The resulting appeal process can take years to complete. It is possible that the individual who the claim was filed by may die before the appeal is able to successfully overturn the denial of benefits. In such a case, if an appeal is successful, the deceased wage earner’s surviving family members may be entitled to the back pay that the deceased wage earner would have been entitled to.
In some cases a survivor of a deceased wage earner may also be entitled to monthly survivor benefits if he or she was a dependent of a deceased wage earner. In order for a survivor to be entitled to a deceased wage earner’s benefits, the wage earner must have been fully insured when he or she died and must have made a minimum of $2,500 in payments to the Social Security program. Parties who may be eligible for these benefits include spouses and children.