Pam Mattison, 48, didn't return a phone message seeking comment.
Marlaine Teahan, a Lansing lawyer who specializes in estate law, predicts the federal government will prevail.
"Michigan statutes talk about a surviving person. You have to survive the decedent" to be an heir, she said.
In May, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled in favor of the Social Security Administration in a similar case from Florida, although that decision is not binding on the state Supreme Court. This case specifically focuses on a Michigan law.
Bland said the children, Mallory and Michael, might be eligible for $200 to $500 a month, retroactive to their birth.
"She had some life insurance from her husband, but this would help. They're middle-class people," Bland said of the Mattison family.
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