Social Security Honors and Supports Military Members

May 24, 2019 • By

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Last Updated: July 16, 2021

" "Every year, on Memorial Day, the nation honors service members who have given their lives for our freedom. Social Security acknowledges the sacrifice of our military’s service members, and we honor these heroes and their families who may need help through the benefits we provide.

Widows, widowers, and their dependent children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. You can learn more about those benefits on our Survivors Benefits page.

It’s also important to recognize those service members who have been wounded. Social Security offers benefits to protect veterans when an injury prevents them from returning to active duty or performing other work.

Wounded military service members can also receive expedited processing of their Social Security disability claims. For example, Social Security will expedite disability claims filed by veterans who have a 100 percent Permanent & Total compensation rating from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Both the VA and Social Security have disability programs. You may find that you qualify for disability benefits through one program but not the other, or that you qualify for both. Depending on the situation, some family members of military personnel, including dependent children, and, in some cases, spouses, may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits. You can get answers to commonly asked questions and find useful information about the application process by visiting our Veterans page.

Service members can also receive Social Security in addition to military retirement benefits. The good news is that your military retirement benefit generally does not reduce your Social Security retirement benefit. Learn more about Social Security retirement benefits. You may also want to visit the Military Service page of our Retirement Planner.

Please share this information with a military family who may not know about these benefits. In acknowledgment of those heroes who died for our country, those who served, and those who serve today, we at Social Security honor and thank you.

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About the Author

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner

Darlynda Bogle, Assistant Deputy Commissioner


  1. Maddy l.

  2. Amy S.

    i was wondering if I collect my benefits now at age 62 would I be entitled to my husband’s Social Security if he passes? He is 100% disabled Veteran. I can’t financially survive on my Social Security alone. We have been married for 37 years.

    • Vonda

      Hi Amy, thanks for using our blog. Typically, a widow or widower at full (survivors) retirement age or older generally receives 100% of the deceased worker’s amount, a widow or widower under full retirement age receives about 71 to 99 percent of the worker’s benefit amount, and a widow or widower with a child younger than age 16 receives 75 percent of the worker’s benefit amount.

      We are only going to pay the highest benefit amount from either record, meaning you don’t get both retirement and widow(er)s benefits but the higher of the two. For more information about how much your benefit would be, visit our If You Are The Survivor web page.

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  5. Caleb J.

    I have a question regarding survivor benefits my father passed away in 2012 and was a veteran of the navy a retired school teacher after 30 years I was incarcerated when he passed away and my older brother was named as estate Holder I have yet to receive the survivor benefits or what ever I might have been entitled to what info can I request or who can I contact

    • Vonda

      We are very sorry for your loss, Caleb. Children may be eligible for survivor benefits if their father earned enough Social Security credits through his work. Unmarried children who are under 18 (up to age 19 if attending elementary or secondary school full time) and children at any age if disabled before age 22 can be eligible to receive Social Security benefits when a parent dies. Check out our Survivor Benefits web page for details.

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