As humans, it is natural for us to always remember exactly what it felt like and exactly where we were and what we were doing when we encountered a traumatic or tragic experience. Millions of Americans remember the day John F. Kennedy was assassinated or that fateful morning of September 11, 2001 like it was yesterday. Another tragic event that sticks with people forever is losing a family member. It’s even a bigger hit when that family member was responsible for bringing in the majority of your family’s income. On top of dealing with the loss of your beloved family member, you are also tasked with figuring out what you are going to do to support your family’s financial future. This is where social security survivor’s insurance comes into play.
What is Social Security Survivors Insurance?
Social security survivor’s insurance provides income for families of deceased workers. It protects a person’s family financially if he or she was to pass away.
Who can get Survivors Benefits?
When people hear the words “Social Security,” it is common that a retirement program comes to mind. In fact, some of the social security taxes you pay during the time you are working are set aside in order for workers and their families to have survivors insurance. When the working member of your family dies, some of your family members may be eligible to receive the survivor’s insurance benefits:
• The widow or widower can be eligible for full benefits depending on their age. He or she must be at or above the full retirement age, which differs depending on the year they were born. Also, if the surviving spouse is disabled, the youngest age they can be eligible to receive benefits is age 50. If the widow or widower has a child under the age of 16, then the age restriction no longer applies and they are eligible to receive the funds immediately.
• Unmarried children may also receive benefits as long as they are under the age of 18. If they became disabled before age 22, they are eligible to get benefits at any age as long as they remain disabled. Additionally, under certain circumstances, stepchildren, grandchildren, step-grandchildren and adopted children may also be eligible.
• Dependent parents are also on the list of eligible people to receive benefits as long as they are 62 or older. Parents qualify as dependent if you provide at least one-half of their support.
How much will you receive?
Simply put, the amount of benefits received depends on how much the deceased person earned during their lifetime. In other words, the more that they put into Social Security, the more benefits you will receive. Social Security determines how much each survivor is entitled to by using the deceased workers’ basic benefit amount. Different percentages of this amount are divided up amongst the family of the deceased, depending on the survivor’s age and relationship to the worker. For example, the widow or widower of full retirement age receives 100%of the worker’s basic benefit amount. However, if they are between the age of 60 and the full retirement age, they will receive between 77% and 99%. If the widow or widower is of any age with a child younger than 16, they receive 75% of the worker’s benefit amount. Children are also among those that receive 75% of the worker’s basic benefit amount.