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Survivors Benefits

Amount Of Benefits Survivors Receive

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How much survivors can get from Social Security depends on the worker's average lifetime earnings. The amount of your benefit is based on the earnings of the person who died, so the higher the worker's earnings, the higher the survivors benefits will be.

The amount survivors get is a percentage of the deceased's basic Social Security benefit. The amount of the percentage depends on the survivors' age and the type of benefit for which the survivor is eligible. The most typical situations are:

  • Widow or widower, age 65 or older: 100% of the worker's benefit
  • Widow or widower age 60-64: Varies, between 71% and 94%
  • Widow, any age, with a child under age 16: 75%
  • Children: 75%

For an estimate of the Social Security survivors benefits that could be paid to your survivors, use Form SSA-7004 (Request for Personal Earnings and Benefit Estimate Statement.) You can obtain a copy of the form by calling 800.882.1213 or online at:

Within four to six weeks after you return the completed form, you will receive a statement showing an estimate of survivors benefits that could be paid, as well as an estimate of retirement and disability benefits and other important information. There is no charge for this service.

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