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When is a widow(er) entitled to father's or mother's insurance benefits?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

415. When is a widow(er) entitled to father's or mother's insurance benefits?

As a widow(er), you are entitled to father's or mother's insurance benefits if all of the conditions below are met:

  1. The insured worker died either fully or currently insured;

  2. You have filed an application for father's or mother's insurance benefits;

    Note: See §1511 for completing application forms. No application is required if you were entitled to spouse's insurance benefits for the month before the month in which the insured worker died.

  3. You are not entitled to a retirement insurance benefit that is equal to or larger than the amount of the unadjusted father's or mother's insurance benefit;

  4. You have in care a child of the deceased worker under age 16 or disabled who is entitled to child's insurance benefits (see §§312-315 for definition of "in care");

  5. You are not married (see §417);

  6. You are not entitled to widow(er)'s insurance benefits; and

  7. You meet one of the conditions in §401 (F).

Last Revised: March, 2001


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