Beginner’s Guide to Social Security Survivor Benefits

Social Security survivor benefits are available to qualifying family members. The Social Security Administration (SSA) usually awards these benefits to spouses and children of deceased individuals. Social Security survivor benefits eligibility is based on various factors.

Once you apply for Social Security survivor benefits, you will learn if you qualify to collect support. However, it is important that you remember there are different requirements you must meet to enroll in Social Security (SS). Once you successfully enroll in the program, you can begin collecting funds.

Who is eligible for survivor benefits from Social Security?

Before you begin applying for Social Security survivor benefits, you need to make sure you qualify to enroll. Generally, this means you are one of the following types of relatives to a SS retirement benefits enrollee:

  • Children.
  • Former spouses.
  • Widows and widowers.

In some instances, if you are the stepchild, parent or grandchild of a deceased family member, you may also qualify for Social Security survivor benefits. However, be sure to consult with your local Social Security office to learn if you could be eligible to collect funds.

How are Social Security survivor benefits calculated?

The Social Security survivor benefits calculator mainly takes into account the amount of funds your relative was receiving. Therefore, the amount of monetary support you could be eligible to receive is determined in relation to how much the SS enrollee received. As a result, Social security benefits for a spouse or children can vary from one individual to another.

What can you spend Social Security child survivor benefits on?

Social Security survivor benefits for children are important. When a minor’s parent passes away, remaining parents or guardians may struggle financially to support the child. If you are wondering, “How do Social Security survivor benefits work for children?” remember that you can only use the benefits to make specific purchases. For example, this support needs to be used to care for the child’s wellbeing. You can use these funds to provide shelter or food. Once these needs are met, you can use the child’s funds to purchase health care items or clothing.

Are Social Security spousal survivor benefits taxable?

Depending on how much you earn, Social Security spouse survivor benefits can be taxable. However, keep in mind that there are other factors that can affect how these benefits are taxed. If you have specific questions about how your SS survivor benefits can affect you, contact an accountant. Alternatively, you can ask your Social Security office for additional information.

Can I receive survivor benefits and my own Social Security?

You may be wondering, “Can I collect survivor benefits and Social Security at the same time?” You cannot collect both types of benefits simultaneously. Once you begin collecting your own SS benefits, you cannot continue collecting survivor support. However, keep in mind that the SSA will pay you the higher of the two amounts.

This site is not affiliated with the SSA or any other government services.