I am 34 years old and live in upstate NY. My mom worked for the school district for many years, putting away for retirement the whole time. This past July, at 61 years old, she was diagnosed with stage 4 lung cancer. She was set to retire September 29th but once we got the diagnosis that she would not make it much longer, she retired on the 7th of September, this year, while in the hospital. She turned 62 on the 10th of September. She named me (her only son) as her beneficiary, I will receive $1850/mo for the rest of my life, which is her pension being paid out. Additionally, I will receive a lump sum benefit of $74,000 as a death benefit. This is all through the NYS Retirement Board. I stopped working to take care of her before she was admitted to the hospital and remained unemployed to be with her during her final days. Therefore up until now, me and my 7 year old son have been surviving off the monthly pension payments that have been in her name, I had power of attorney. Upon her death, I surrendered all of my savings to the funeral home so she could have a service, leaving me with practically nothing. I was under the impression that the monthly pension payments would continue to come while I found new employment or the lump sum was paid, whichever came first. I was expecting a monthly check this week, for $1850. I am now being told that it has to be changed into my name and I will not receive another payment until the end of November! The retirement board also has informed me that the lump sum will take 10-14 weeks to process! I know my mother had some sort of life insurance also, that would cover her final costs but when talking to the retirement board, they claim it is all included in the $74,000 lump sum death benefit. She was also supposed to start collecting her social security upon retiring (why she waited until she was 62) I currently owe the funeral home over $11,000 still and have almost nothing to survive until I find employment. My question, is there ANYTHING I can do right now? Maybe something I am missing? What happened to her social security she has paid in her entire life? My son has a birthday next month, the furnace in the house (my mother also left me the house) needs work, we have no heat.... Jobs are not so easily obtainable around here and even if I am hired immediately, will not see a check for at least a few weeks. This was all thrown at me very fast and I have no idea what to do here, I obviously cannot afford legal council so I am turning to this forum as a last resort. ANY insight, ideas or any information that could help me and my son right now would be GREATLY appreciated!