When someone who received Social Security benefits passes away, their families are left with a sudden financial loss. It may be tough to handle while still in the grieving process. However, sometimes it is possible for surviving family members to receive survivor benefits. In this article, we will explore benefits that survivors potentially may receive.
Who can receive survivor benefits?
Generally, the spouse of the deceased worker might be awarded Social Security survivor benefits. In addition, the following people may qualify for survivor benefits:
- A divorced spouse if married to the deceased person for more than ten years.
- Children if unmarried, under age 18 if not attending school full time.
- An adult child who was disabled before age 22.
- The parents of the deceased worker if he or she had provided at least 50 percent of the parent’s support.
There may be exceptions, and the Social Security Administration may consider other factors when determining survivor benefits.
What benefits are available?
Widows or widowers of someone who was eligible for Social Security benefits may receive the following survivor benefits:
- A one-time death benefit of $225.
- Full benefits at full retirement age or reduced benefits by age 60.
- Benefits at age 50 or older if disabled, but only if the disability began before or within seven years of the spouse’s death.
Something most people don’t realize is that the divorced spouse of the deceased worker may be eligible for benefits also. Limitations do apply, however. For example, the worker and spouse must have been married at least ten years for the divorced spouse to be considered for benefits.
Children may receive Social Security benefits based on their deceased parent’s work history. In some cases, “children” may include stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren, and adopted children.
The deceased worker’s parents may receive a benefit based on the worker’s work credit history. This is a little more complicated as the parents may have to prove the worker provided at least 50 percent of their support.
Sound Complicated? It Is, but We Can Help.
It’s a basic need – the desire for our families to live well even after we are gone. Someone on fixed government benefits may be especially concerned. Social Security Disability Insurance does provide for spouses and children of a recipient who passes away.
The attorneys at The Law Offices of Martin Taller have more than 50 years’ experience helping clients with their legal questions and concerns. For a free consultation, call us at 714-385-8100 or use our convenient Contact Form. Though our office is located in Anaheim, we represent clients throughout Southern California.