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 www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors. 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 www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.

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 www.socialsecurity.gov/survivors.

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

  1. 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,

  2. Both my kids survivors benefits was stolen off account done by conputer fraud on months december 2017and january 2018.kids 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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
    Analiza
    Acentino57@gmail.com

    • 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!

    • Hi Janet. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot assist you at this time. One of our representatives should be able to provide you with status of your claim. 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!

    • Hi Donna. Thanks for your question. At one time, Social Security did pay benefits to college students, but the law changed in 1981. Today, if a child is receiving benefits based on a parent’s Social Security earnings record, we pay these benefits to students who are taking courses at grade 12 or below. However, if a child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, their benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child turns age 19, whichever is first. See Benefits for Children for more information.

  5. I called to report my husband Dale John Wing’s death on 8/13/2018, and to apply for his benefits which are greater than mine. They gave me a phone appointment on the 21st of August at 10:00-11:00 am, I had to cancel because of a funeral at that time. They said I would have to wait now till Oct. 2nd, 2018. Now I get a call saying the appointment is back at the 21st. Could you please e amil me which date is right? Judith A. wing our SS numbers are Dale *** – ** – *** Judith’s is *** – ** – ***. Would like to have this cleared up as soon as possible.

    • We apologize for any confusion, Judith. We do not have access to personal information, therefore, we do not do direct messaging in this venue. 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.
      Just a reminder – . Please be cautious about posting personal information on social media channels. Thanks!

  6. I receive benefits from my husband that passed away in 2005. I am 63 and my questions is how much am I allowed to earn if I get a part time job to help pay my livig expenses without losig my benefits?Im having a hard time paying my health insurance (also, when can you start getting medicare/medicaid)?

    • Thank you contacting us, Sandy. Yes, there are limits on how much survivors may earn while they receive benefits. For complete information on how work and wages can affect your benefits, visit our “Getting Benefits While Working” web page.
      Medicare is our country’s health insurance program for people age 65 or older. Individuals already receiving benefits -prior to age 65-, will be automatically enrolled in Medicare Part A & B.
      Medicaid is a joint federal and state program that helps with medical costs for some people with limited income and resources. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office.
      We hope this information helps!

  7. I get survivors support, I’m 62 yrs old and have a paying job since my benefits isn’t enough to cover my bills, what is my earned income limits for each month/year?

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