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When is a parent of a deceased person entitled to parent's benefits?

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

421. When is a parent of a deceased person entitled to parent's benefits?

You are entitled to parent's benefits as a parent of a deceased insured person if the conditions below are met:

  1. The insured person was fully insured at the time of death;

  2. You file an application for parent's benefits (see §1511 for completing application forms);

  3. You have reached age 62;

  4. You are not entitled to a retirement insurance benefit that is equal to or larger than the amount of the unadjusted parent's insurance benefit after any increase to the minimum benefit;

  5. You were receiving at least one-half support from the insured person at the applicable time (see §423);

  6. You filed evidence that the support requirement was met with the Social Security Administration within the required time limit (see §424);

  7. You have not remarried since the insured person's death; and

  8. One of the following conditions is met:

    1. You are a natural parent and would be eligible under the law of the State where the worker lived to share in the intestate personal property of the worker as the worker's parent;

    2. You legally adopted the insured person before he or she turned 16; or

    3. You became the deceased's stepparent by a marriage entered into before the deceased turned 16.

Last Revised: March, 2001


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