Workers rely on Social Security benefits to cover expenses when encountering unexpected problems that could hinder their earning ability. It is also true when an unexpected death happens. If a worker dies, their surviving family members could receive payments from the deceased’s benefits.
However, not all family members can qualify for them. Eligibility could depend on the worker’s total credits and age before dying. Each worker’s circumstances differ based on their employment details.
Typically, the surviving spouse and children can receive benefit payments. However, they could only qualify based on the following criteria:
- Spouse is at least 60 years old
- Spouse has a disability and is 50 years of age or older
- The spouse is caring for the deceased’s child, who either has a disability or is 16 years old (or younger)
- The deceased’s unmarried child who is 18 years old or younger (a maximum of 19 years old if still a full-time student in primary or secondary school)
- The deceased’s unmarried child who has a disability (sustained before reaching 22 years old) and is 18 years old or older
- The deceased’s adopted child, stepchild, grandchild or stepgrandchild
- Surviving parents who are at least 62 years old and received financial support from the deceased
Qualified family members could receive benefit payments, depending on the situation. A claims representative could help provide clarity about eligibility.
Other factors that could affect surviving family’s eligibility
Specific details of the surviving family member’s life could affect their ability to receive benefits. A surviving spouse’s age and remarriage could impact their payment amount.
Additionally, other Social Security benefits could influence the survivor benefit amount. Sometimes, a person might not receive payments simultaneously from multiple benefit sources.
These benefits help families get through challenging situations based on their circumstances. They could rely on these sources as safeguards to sustain the deceased’s dependents, securing their present and future needs.