An Overview of Social Security Survivors Insurance

An Overview of Social Security Survivors Insurance

Social Security Form with Glasses

When a person dies, it has a huge impact on their family. Not just in an emotional sense, but a financial one as well. For example, if a working person dies leaving their spouse to care for a child, that spouse loses out on income used to help raise that child. Fortunately, social security survivors insurance can help soften the financial blow of a death in the family.

What is Social Security Survivors Insurance?

When most people think of Social Security, they think of retirement income. However, the taxes you pay towards Social Security also go towards the surviving family members of deceased workers. This is known as Social Security survivors insurance.

How do You Earn Survivors Benefits?

The longer you work and pay Social Security taxes, the more credit you earn towards Social Security benefits. For every $1,260 in wages you earn, you receive one Social Security credit. You can earn up to four credits per year.  The younger a person is at the time of their death, the fewer credits they need for surviving family members to receive benefits. Additionally, children and spouses can still receive benefits if the deceased worked for a year and a half within the three years before their death.

Who is Eligible for Survivors Benefits?

The following are those who are eligible for survivors benefits if a working family member passes away:

  • A surviving spouse – The surviving spouse may be eligible for full survivors benefits once they reach retirement age, which is designated as being 66 for anyone born between 1945 and 1956 and 67 for anyone born after 1962. The surviving spouse can receive reduced benefits at the age of 60. If they are disabled, they can begin receiving benefits at age 50.
  • A surviving spouse with children – If the surviving spouse is taking care of a child that’s 16 or under or that has a disability, then they can begin receiving survivors benefits at any age.
  • Unmarried children – The children of the deceased worker may be eligible for survivors benefits as well as long as they are unmarried and under the age of 18. There’s an exception for children up to the age of 19 if they are still attending secondary school full time. They can also receive benefits at any time if they were disabled before the age of 22 and are still disabled.
  • Dependent parents – Parents who can prove that the deceased worker provided at least half of their support can receive survivors benefits if they are 62 or older.
  • Divorced spouse – A divorced spouse can receive benefits at age 60 or older if they were married for at least ten years. They can also receive benefits if they are caring for the child of the deceased worker.

The amount of money the worker’s surviving family can collect depends on their average lifetime earnings. The greater they are, the more the benefits will be. For a free consultation regarding social security survivors insurance, be sure to contact Social Security Disability Advocates USA by calling us 24/7 at (602) 952-3200 today.

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