C. Survivor
Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits when an individual covered by Social Security dies. They include:


  1. A widow or widower who is:
    • 60 or older; or
    • 50 or older and disabled; or
    • Any age if he or she is caring for the covered person's child who is younger than 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits on the covered person's record.
  2. Unmarried children
    • Younger than 18; or
    • Between 18 and 19, but in an elementary or secondary school as full-time students; or
    • Age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22).
  3. Dependent parents - Parents who were dependent upon a child for at least half of their support at the time of the child's death are eligible for survivor benefits.
  4. Death payment - A spouse or minor children may be paid a one-time death benefit of $255 upon the death of a covered individual.

D. Family limitations
There is a limit on the amount of retirement, disability or survivor benefits payable to an entire family based on any one worker's record. This limit is known as the maximum family benefit.

Eligible children receive up to one-half of a parent's full benefit, but the maximum family benefit is usually between 150-180% of the of the covered person's benefit.
III. How Benefits Are Calculated

Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    A Guide to Social Security Dependent Benefits

    Advisors and their clients tend to focus on Social Security retirement benefits. Social Security also offers dependent benefits. Here's how they work.
  2. Personal Finance

    How Social Security Survivor Benefits Work

    Social Security survivor benefits are intended to provide income to the family members of a deceased worker.
  3. Retirement

    Social Security Benefits for Children: How They Work

    There are millions of children in tough situations who receive Social Security benefits each month to help with finances. Here's who qualifies.
  4. Financial Advisor

    How to Help Clients Navigate Survivor Benefits

    Here are some ways to help client couples do what they can to maximize any potential Social Security survivor benefits.
  5. Retirement

    3 Ways to Get Social Security Benefits

    Social Security isn't just for retirement. Learn about all three benefits provided by the Social Security Administration: retirement, survivor and disability.
  6. Retirement

    Social Security Benefits for Dependents

    A child may be eligible to receive part of a parent's Social Security benefits in three ways.
  7. Retirement

    Three Ways to Get Social Security Benefits

    Here is how Social Security works.
  8. Financial Advisor

    How to Manage SS Disability & Retirement Benefits

    Advisors with clients who receive disability benefits can carve out a profitable niche by helping them integrate this income into a financial plan.
  9. Retirement

    Do You Qualify for Social Security Disability?

    When it comes to qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance, you either do or you don’t. Here's how to find out if you do and how to apply.
  10. Retirement

    Understanding Social Security Eligibility

    Who qualifies for Social Security payments and when can they get them?
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. When are Beneficiaries of a Will Notified?

    Learn when the beneficiaries of a will must be notified, and understand how this requirement varies depending on whether ...
  2. Why Does Larry Page Pay Himself a $1 Salary?

    Google co-founder Larry Page continues to take an annual salary of only $1 as chief executive officer.
  3. What is Common Stock and Preferred Stock?

    Learn about the differences between common and preferred shares. Explore situations where preferred shares have more favorable ...
  4. Can CareCredit be Used for Family Members?

    Learn more about the available options that CareCredit offers to pay for out-of-pocket medical procedures with little to ...
Trading Center