The process of getting on disability is long and challenging. It is not unusual for claimants to pass away while waiting for an answer on their case for disability. In these circumstances some benefits can still be paid. This benefit is called an underpayment. To put it simply, the beneficiary would be able to get the back pay for which the claimant was entitled. The eligibility for benefits when a claimant is deceased varies depending on the type of claim. In a claim under Social Security Disability Insurance Benefits, which is based upon the earnings record, a beneficiary can step into the place of the deceased and continue an existing claim. This is called a substitution of party. It is important to note that any of the beneficiaries can continue the claim, even if that person is not the primary beneficiary. The order of preference for collecting the benefit begins first with the spouse that resided with the deceased, followed by the children of the deceased, and then the parents of the deceased. In a claim for Supplemental Security Income, which is based on financial need, the benefit eligibility is narrower. Generally, only the spouse that resided with the deceased may continue the claim. It is important to understand, that the case will be evaluated just as though the individual was alive. The time frame in question for disability will be the date that the claimant alleged in his application through the date of death. Because issues and complications can easily arise in these circumstances this is a great reason to have a representative. A representative will have the authority to continue your claim and find a beneficiary to substitute in your place.