Things You Should Know About Social Security Survivor’s Benefits


According to present social security law, even after the beneficiary has died, his survivors can claim Social Security benefits. There is however some eligibility criteria that have to be met first before the accrued benefits start trickling down to the members of the deceased person’s family. This article discusses the qualifying regulations of different types of survivors.

Social Security Benefits to Survivors

Children to the deceased spouse

Those children whose deceased parents were receiving SSDI benefits (or were insured for SSDI) may be eligible to receive survivor’s benefits. The term “children” in this case is used to refer to: natural children, adopted children and step-children of a parent. The following eligibility criteria are used to determine those to receive the SSS benefits.

-The child must be unmarried

-The eligible child must be under the age of 18

One is eligible to receive 75% of their deceased parents benefit until they reach they reach 18. Payments actually cease one month before your official 18 th birthday. The amount the child gets is subject to some rules known as the Family Maximum Benefit rules.

Those who are beyond 18 may be still able to receive some SSS benefits if they are in high school or determined disabled by a medical officer.


Family maximum benefit rules

This rules set the limit of the gain to be received by the deceased person’s family depending on the social security benefits that the late relative was receiving. The rule of the thumb that is applicable in this case is that one cannot receive more than 150-180% of the gross total of the deceased relative’s SS benefit. If it happens that the proportion of benefits awarded to a family is higher than 180% , each member of the family will receive less percentages. This is enforceable until the awarded total is contained within the required percentage limit.


Spouses may benefit from social security survivors benefits after death of the original recipient. A widow or widower may however only receive the paycheck if it is proven that the deceased person was “currently” insured before being declared disabled. Aside from that, there are several other factors that affect the percentage of benefit from your deceased spouse’s pay you’re eligible to receive.

-You will receive 100% of your deceased husband or wife’s SSDI benefit if you have reached full retirement age.

-You will receive between 71.5% and 99% SSDI benefits from your deceased spouse’s kitty if you are at least 60 but not yet reached full retirement age at the time of death and application.

-You will get 71.5% of your late husband/wife’s SSDI payment if you are at least 50 and disabled. This is true if your disability is proved to have started before the death of your spouse.

-You will be eligible to receive 75% of your deceased spouse’s SSDI check if you care for a kid under the age of 16 years who is also eligible to receive SSDI survivor benefits from your late spouse.

senior benefits

There are however a couple more twists to this. If for instance you re-marry before you reach 60, you not be eligible for benefits of a survivor. However, if you re-marry after 60 (or after 50 for disabled individuals) your SSDI survivors benefits will not be affected at all.

You will not avail the survivor’s benefits if you were not married for at least 9 months to your deceased spouse. However there are many exceptions to this rule that social security lawyers would be glad to expound more on.

If you are taking care of a deceased spouse’s child and you’re receiving the benefits of caring for an under 16 year old, your benefits will end once the child turns 16. There is however the exception of continuing to enjoy the benefits if the child is disabled.

18+ Adult children

Children of the deceased who are 18 years or older may be eligible for SSS benefits only if they meet the following eligibility criteria.

-They are under 19 years of age and are taking full-time studies in high school. Being a full-time student at higher levels of education does not apply in this regard.

-If the adult child is disabled and it is provable that he became disabled before turning 22.

All 18+ children who qualify for these benefits will receive 75% of the deceased parents benefit. However, if the child is receiving these benefits because he/she is a full-time student, the payments will stop once they complete school or 2 months after hitting 19 years of age – which of the two comes first. Disabled children will however continue to receive their benefits for as long as their disability is provable.

Divorced spouses

Ex-husbands or ex-spouses to the deceased can collect survivors benefit only if they meet the criteria of “disability benefits for surviving divorced spouses” talk to your social security lawyer about this.

Elderly parents


For elderly parents who were relying on the support of their disabled child SS benefits, it is possible to receive a certain percentage of the deceased child Social Security benefits. Single elderly parents will receive 82.5% of what their child was receiving in payments. If two elderly parents are surviving, then each parent will be eligible to receive 75% of the total benefit payments the child was receiving. To avail all these benefits:

-One must be at least 62

-It must be proved that your deceased child provided at least 50% of your expenses at the time of passing on

-You’ve not married/re-married after your child’s death

-You’re not receiving SS benefits that are higher than what you would receive under your child’s benefits.

Benefits to grand children


Grandchildren and step-grandchildren may be eligible for 75% of their grandparent’s benefits. This payment is effective until the children reach 18 years of age. Payment will cease one month before the 18 th birthday. The following eligibility criteria must be met:

-The child’s real parents are either deceased or disabled

-The child started living with their grandparent before reaching 18 and the grandparent was catering to more than 50% of their needs. It must also be proven that one stayed with the grandparent for at least 12 months before his/her death.

-Infants under 12 months of age should have lived with the deceased grandparent for the whole of his/her life and benefited from at least 50% of the deceased relatives support.

Social Security for survivors is a vital way of securing the future of loved ones. The benefits received by survivors make sure that no one faces financial problems in the time to come.

Author Bio:

Bernard Naylor is a Passionate Blogger and Writer. He likes blogging about Home & Garden, Health & Fitness, Legal help tips, Online strategies that are related to SEO, Content, PPC & Lead generation.


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