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The importance of Social Security survivors insurance

The loss of the family wage earner can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of every 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program.

This booklet gives you an overview of Social Security survivors benefits paid to the spouse and children of a worker who dies. This booklet is not intended to answer all the questions you may have. For more information about Social Security’s survivors program, visit our website or call our toll-free numbers.



There are 12 Comments

with someone for seventeen i qualify for surviors benefit

This depends on state law, but you will likely qualify for survivor benefits. Check with your local office.

Social Security follows the laws of the state where the worker was residing at the time of death or the place where the worker is residing when the spouse applies for benefits. In order for a common law marriage to be valid, it must have been contracted in a state where common-law marriages are recognized. Many states do not honor common-law marriages, so you should check local laws. However, most states (even those in which a man and woman could not enter into a valid common-law marriage) will generally recognize a common-law marriage validly entered into in another state. Again, check local laws.

my mother just passed away and just found out she has no life insurance is she covered by ss benefits so she can be buried ? and is there benefits to be paid to the family since she is divorced and her kid is of age

The family may qualify for survivor benefits. Here is a short description of survivor benefits. See the link below for details

* Widows and widowers age 60 and above (50 if disabled)

* Widows and widowers who care for children who receive benefits and are age 16 or less or disabled

* Unmarried children under age 18 (unless disabled)

* Dependent parents age 62 or older

* There is also a one-time death benefit of $255

I and my two sons receive survivor benefits from my husband's passing in 2001. My oldest son will be 16 in April 2011. Will I lose my portion of the survivor benefit when he turns 16? Also, the survivor benefits are just not enough to survive, so how much can I earn annually without losing my benefit? Thanks.

Please contact Social Security directly for your particular circumstances. However, the following may be of benefit.

Here is come of the criteria for survivor benefits :

  • Your widow or widower can receive benefits at any age if she or he takes care of your child who is receiving Social Security benefits and younger than age 16 or disabled.
  • Your unmarried children who are younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time) also can receive benefits. Your children can get benefits at any age if they were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled. Under certain circumstances, benefits also can be paid to your stepchildren, grandchildren, stepgrandchildren or adopted children.

If you work while getting Social Security survivors benefits and are younger than full retirement age, your benefits may be reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits. Here is information on how work affects your benefits :

The father of my children was killed earlier this year. They are now recieving survivor benefits for SSA. However, I have been told that they are eligible to recieve health care benefits also. Is there any truth to that?

I have never seen such a benefit from the SSA, at least at the national level. Some states may provide such a benefit, but I am unaware of it.

My father passed away in 2005, my mother had applied for ss survivor benefits and was denied because of her age, we believe. But now she is almost 61 and we are wondering if she can try to apply again? They were married for over 16 years.

Yes, assuming your mother qualifies, she should be able to get reduced survivor (widow's) benefits at age 61.

Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:

  • A widow or widower -- full benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60
  • A disabled widow or widower -- as early as age 50
  • A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased's child who is under age 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits

my granpa died 2 yeras ago and my gndmother survives. when granpa died my aunt took over my grandma and she was recivin the benefits and took my grandma witth another aunt in mexico and didnt take her nothing to eat or anytgihhg she needed in other words she was spending her money .so my mom got tiered of that and now we have grandma with us but my aunt went to the socialsecuryty in texas cause thats were she lives and she said my grandmother wasnt living with her no more when she never did and all that time wasted her money and not giving her nothing .and we want to know wath do we have to do so she can reapply for her benifits again .thank you


Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration