What Are Social Security Survivors' Benefits?

What Are Social Security Survivors' Benefits?

Most people avoid thinking about their own mortality. We thinking about living, having experiences, and building memories with the ones we love. Unfortunately, we don’t live forever and we have to plan for death, which is inevitable. When a worker dies, it’s not only emotionally devastating to their loved ones, but it can wreak havoc on their finances.

Social Security was created to help Americans and their families by providing financial benefits to support them in the event they become disabled or reach retirement age. Part of the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) goal is to protect workers’ families when a worker passes away. When a worker dies, some of the Social Security taxes the worker paid throughout their life can go toward survivors' benefits for the worker’s family.

Who is Eligible for Survivors' Benefits?

When an income-earner dies, certain close family members may be entitled to survivors' benefits. But who qualifies for survivors benefits? Usually, those who may eligible include:

  • Widows and widowers caring for the decedent’s child age 16 and younger or disabled;
  • Surviving spouses in certain situations;
  • Divorced widows and widowers;
  • Children age 18 or older who became disabled before age 22;
  • Children;
  • Stepchildren, step-grandchildren, and adopted children under certain circumstances; and
  • Dependent parents.

“How much are survivors benefits?” you might ask. It depends, not all survivors' benefits are the same. If you’re eligible for survivors' benefits, the amount you’re entitled to receive on behalf of your deceased loved one depends on his or her lifetime earnings. The more your loved one earned, the higher the benefits.

Whenever a worker passes away, the Social Security Administration recommends that his or her survivors apply for survivors benefits immediately. Survivors can contact the SSA by phone or in-person at a local Social Security office.

To learn more about survivors' benefits and to find out if you’re eligible, contact The Zendeh Del Law Firm, PLLC.

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