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Survivors Benefits


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In addition to providing Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) and Retirement Income (SSRI) benefits to immediate relatives of workers insured under Social Security while the worker is still alive, Social Security provides benefits to a surviving spouse, ex-spouse, child, or parent of an insured worker.

The worker must have earned enough credits for a survivor to qualify.

The amount of benefit varies. There is a maximum payable per family. If the survivor works, the amount of the benefit may be reduced.

Surviving widows and widowers can switch to their own benefits when it is worth doing so.

Remarrying generally terminates survivors benefits, except for older survivors.

If a survivor is or becomes eligible for more than one benefit: a higher benefit in an amount less than the total of two benefits is payable. For example, a widow's benefit combined with a person's own Social Security Retirement.

There is a one time payment to survivors to help with burial expenses.

You can apply for Survivors Benefits by telephone or at a local Social Security office.

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