Losing a loved one is not just emotionally painful; sometimes it’s financially devastating as well. Social Security has a plan for the families of those workers who have died, leaving dependents behind.
Social Security does not only provide insurance protection to contributing workers who are disabled and unable to work. The program also provides a life insurance portion to the dependents of deceased workers who have contributed to the program as well. In fact, according to U.S. government publications, more than 98% of children in the U.S. are covered by this insurance plan, and Social Security sends more money to American children than any other public or private program.
Who Is Eligible For Social Security Survivors’ Benefits?
Members of the immediate family are typically eligible to receive benefits. Widowed spouses, children, dependent parents, and a few others are usually eligible.
Unmarried children who are under the age of 18 are eligible to receive benefits. If the unmarried child is 19 or less, he or she may be eligible for benefits if still enrolled in secondary school. If a child is disabled before reaching the age of 22 and remains disabled, he or she can also receive benefits.
If a dependent parent of the deceased worker is age 62 or older, then that dependent parent is also able to get benefits.
The surviving spouse can receive benefits in full until they reach age 65, as long as they were born before 1940. If the surviving spouse is also disabled, then benefits can begin as early as age 50.
How Much Are The Survivors Benefits?
Like SSDI payments, the amount of the survivors benefits depends on the deceased worker’s lifetime earnings and Social Security contributions. In other words, the more that the deceased worker earned and contributed to the program, then the more benefits would be paid to the dependents. It’s important to keep the annual Social Security benefits statement, as that will contain an estimate of disability benefits and retirement benefits that would be paid in the event of retirement, disability or death.