I regularly receive questions about auxiliary Social Security disability benefits. Often these questions are from divorced persons who are struggling with the cost of raising a child, while the disabled, non-custodial parent has not been cooperative with regard to auxiliary benefits.
Recently I received the following question:
i have a 15 yr old son. my ex husband is dying of cancer. he has not applied for ss , so i was told by ss that i cannot apply until my ex does. in the meantime we r struggling. help. -S
Here is my response: unfortunately, there is nothing that S can do unless and until her ex-husband applies for disability benefits. Cancer is a listing level impairment and my experience has been that SSA adjudicators and judges are more likely than not willing to grant benefits. Further, some cancers are included in Social Security’s compassionate allowance program. Even if the cancer is treatable, the treatment protocol often lasts 12 months or longer, so a cancer claimant can usually get a closed period even if on-going benefits are not awarded. [Read more…]