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Considering your Social Security benefits during natural disaster

If you’re like many of our Southern California readers then you’ve probably wondered what can become of your benefits during and after a natural disaster has struck. With the number of wildfires and massive earthquakes that have struck our area in recent years, who could blame you for wondering if your disability benefits could be affected.

Because of electronic deposit, worrying about whether your benefit check was destroyed because of a natural disaster is a thing of the past. Even if your mailbox is destroyed or you are displaced from your home, the fact that benefits are deposited electronically means you can access them from anywhere and still have the financial security they offer.

But what if you’re not currently receiving benefits and become disabled as a result of a natural disaster? No worry, you can apply for benefits online. As many of our readers will tell you, disability benefits can be incredibly helpful, especially if a disability forces you out of work. Even if you are still able to work despite a disabling condition, you can still receive these helpful benefits while you work.

The Social Security Administration even offers survivor benefits to those who may have been killed in a natural disaster as well. The amount of benefits that can be received is based on the number of years the deceased person worked and benefits can be collected by a widow or widower or even a deceased person’s children.

Although these benefits can be incredibly useful, the process of applying for benefits can sometimes be a complicated one. Even small mistakes can result in a rejected application and often requires an appeal to correct the mistake. Unfortunately, the appeal process can be just as complicated and can leave people feeling frustrated about their situation. In situations like this, seeking legal counsel is often well-advised.

Source: The MetroWest Daily News, "In the aftermath of disaster, Social Security can help," Kristen Alberino, Sept. 11, 2013

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