The death of a spouse can be a very difficult time. Social Security benefits are a source of income. If your spouse passes away, Social Security may pay a one-time death benefit to the surviving spouse. If there is no surviving spouse, a child may receive the benefit.
If your spouse is receiving benefits and they pass away, many times there is a way for you or your child to continue receiving those benefits after their death so that your financial future is not completely insecure. The death must be reported immediately so that Social Security does not continue to pay out benefits to someone who has passed. However, at that point, survivor’s benefits may take place instead.
Survivor’s benefits can go to:
1) Any widow or widower who is 60 or older,
2) A widow or widower who is disabled and over 50,
3) A widow or widower at any age who is caring for the deceased’s child that is under 16 years of age and disabled,
4) A surviving divorced spouse under specific circumstances-the marriage must have last 10 years or more,
5) An unmarried child of the deceased
6) Parents who are 62 or older that were dependent on the deceased for half of their support
7) A stepchild, grandchild, adopted child, or step grandchild under specific circumstances.
The benefits that you are eligible to receive would depend on the earnings of your spouse, and it would be a percentage of their Social Security amount. It is also important to note that if you remarry before you are 60 years of age, you will no longer be able to receive benefits. Any remarriage after 60, however, still allows you to qualify for benefits from your deceased spouse.
The Social Security system can seem daunting if you are dealing with a death but be sure to call and see if survivor benefits can help during this difficult time.