Q: My father was a federal employee for 30 years, and he passed away in November. He listed me as his death benefit beneficiary with the intent to grant me an annuity. I applied as his disabled dependent child survivor. I filed my paperwork in January. I heard nothing for months. I finally contacted them by phone in June and asked them to send me forms for doctors to fill out for my claim. Are child survivor annuities retroactive? I heard that they begin on the day the retiree passes away. Are we entitled to them at that time, and if this much time has gone by, can I collect past monthly annuities due to me?
A: To be eligible for such a survivor benefit, you would have had to be disabled before age 18, unmarried, incapable of self support and dependent on the deceased parent. If you meet these criteria, your benefit would be retroactive.