Do Your Patriotic Duty and Brush Up on Survivors Benefits with Social Security

American Flag In 2009, Congress designated September 11 as a national day of service and remembrance for those who gave their lives in service to the nation. As we honor the sacrifices made on Patriot Day, it might be a good time to learn more about how Social Security can help the survivors of these fallen heroes.

A good place to start would be to visit From here, you can learn how we calculate a benefit amount for survivors, and what protection we offer a family if a loved one dies.

Widows and widowers may be eligible to receive monthly Social Security benefits on the record of a deceased worker as early as age 60 (or age 50 if disabled). In certain cases, we can pay benefits to a widow and widower at any age who is caring for a child under age 16.

And did you know that Social Security provides an important source of financial support to some children? As a survivor of a deceased parent insured for Social Security benefits, a child can generally be paid until age 18 (or 19, if enrolled as a full-time high school student). We can also continue to pay benefits past age 18 or 19 if the child has a disability that began before they turn 22 years old.

Under a special rule, benefits can also be paid even if the deceased has not worked and paid Social Security taxes for a long period of time. Generally, the younger you are when you die, the fewer credits you need for your survivors to be eligible for benefits.

Another good source of information is our publication, How Social Security Can Help You When A Family Member Dies, available at

If you think you’re eligible and want to apply for survivors benefits, you can file online easily. The online application process is straightforward and will give you a list of documents you’ll need to gather before you begin.

Losing a loved one is never easy, but knowing Social Security can help the survivors left behind may bring some comfort during a difficult time. As we recall the sacrifices made on Patriot Day, let’s do our patriotic duty to brush up on what Social Security services are available for survivors by visiting


24 thoughts on “Do Your Patriotic Duty and Brush Up on Survivors Benefits with Social Security

  1. I was have benifits pending since 2009 last friday receive a letter need to file another appeal for judge hearing do they really go for that. But fact approve. Or just need to hire attorney and their cut. I was on intelligence coordination 911. Victim of economy when since the terrorist accomplish 911. I am full fleage veteren employer. im asking crying out loud do something i live in las vegas nevada *** – ** – **** my social security.

    • As a senior, who has served this country in every area of endeavor l found myself, l believe it will a darn shame if dedicated citizens are deprived of their hard earned benefits, which they had labored arduously for. The country has to do its due diligence to retain its integrity. There is just no two way about it.

    • Hi, Mannix. Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal records in this venue. We encourage you to contact your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for further assistance and a thorough explanation.

  2. Please support H.R.1205. If you are a spouse and victim of the Gov Pension Offset or the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) you probably will be denied a spousal survivors benefit. Spouses who worked as educators, law enforcement, or other health/safety professionals and made equal or more than your deceased spouse will probably be victims of GPO/WEP. Ladies, if you are victims of GPO/WEP you are being punished for your income equality. 81% of GPO/WEP victims are WOMEN!
    P.S. There are many exception/exemptions to the GPO/WEP but SSA will not inform you that you quality or provide preretirement determinations so you can plan your retirement.

    • H.R. 1205 has to do with withdrawing from the United Nations and has nothing to do with WEP. SS does not hide any exceptions to the current law and Congress is not and never will look into this matter again after it being the law for decades. Your post is so much BS.

      • I stand corrected. H.R. 1205 in the current Congress does deal with the elimination of the WEP and GPO for payments effective with December 2017. I am amazed that there are so many co-sponsors. I apologize to cstamey and since I’m subject to the offsets, naturally I support repeal to any degree. We are now waiting for a report from the GAO as the the impact passage would have on the budget.

        • Regarding GPO/WEP exception/exemptions, it is up to the GPO/WEP victim to research and argue they qualify. SSA will not advocate on your behalf if you qualify for a GPO/WEP exception/exemption. If you are a victim of the GPO/WEP research if you qualify for an exception/exemption and appeal your denial. Also, as I mentioned, SSA will not provide you with a preretirement determination so you can plan for your retirement.

          AKA: thank you for the apology, but I would rather you not respond to my blogs.

  3. how about if you’ve been divorced for 20 yrs but were married for 10. I don’t know if my ex is alive or not. I had no children with him so how would I find out about that? would social security get in touch with me?

  4. It is not your duty, patriotic or otherwise, to become informed about SS. However, knowledge is a good thing to have. Is is the duty of the employees at Social Security to give you all of your options when you file or inquire. The decision is yours. I must add that the SS employees do a great job in servicing the public. Remember they have to cut through all the misconceptions the folks have because of the fake news, fraudsters and charlatans who want you to sign up for an investment seminar only to find out what is freely provided by the SS Administration.

  5. This is sheilacrumm1 I have a lot of disabilities but I’m always denied I have colon cancer and rectal cancer it’s a restageing disease I’m half blind half deaf I have bipolar disorder 1&2. A mood swing disorder Seaver scoliosis, I can hardly walk special ed in school I need help I’m homeless

  6. My wife is 58 and has her green card and SSA number and will be a US citizen in 2 years, if I die before she becomes a citizen and waits till she is 62 by that time she will be a citizen can she collect my survivors benefits, we have been married 20 years,

  7. Both my kids survivors benefits was stolen off account done by conputer fraud on months december 2017and january names tyrese armani lane and cearia monique lane. Mailin address p.obox 31542capitalheights md 20731.i want both benefits returned back to my kids account and more protection on this account

    • Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. One of our representatives should be able to assist you. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks.

  8. I feel like I’m being railroaded through every agency I’ve been to my local office they didn’t seem to understand all the benefit problems we were having our survivor benefits have been stopped we’re going to end up losing our home all because of an overpayment that they claim was made I tried to file an appeal they never got me my paperwork the local office is over an hour away when driving out there they told me they didn’t get the paperwork that they never sent so I’m just out of luck how is this right

    • Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day. Thanks.

  9. I’m 60 yrs old female married for 20 yrs and collecting disability and got divorce years ago and never remarried. My ex-husband his fully retired 10 yrs ago and still alive, am I entiled to have spousal benifits because I have disability even I’m not 62-65 yrs old. A widow can collect spousal benefits when the turn 60 and healthy, why the divorcy disable person don’t have the same benefits as a widow or widower.

    Thank You

    • Hello Analiza, you may be able to receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record at age 62 if:
      • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
      • You are unmarried;
      • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and,
      • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
      For more information, please visit our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced. Thanks!

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