Who is Eligible for Social Security Survivor Benefits?
Accidents happen every day and are often followed by catastrophic injuries or deaths that leave a loss of income and extra hardships for a spouse and children of the deceased. In most cases, families can be eligible to receive a lump-sum death payment and monthly cash Social Security benefits to provide support. Benefits can be received by a surviving spouse and children such as:
- A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
- A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
- Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full lime).
- Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled.
- Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.
Survivor benefits currently account for 13 percent of the benefits paid out by Social Security. To be eligible for the benefits the deceased must have 1.5 thru 10 years of work covered by Social Security at the time of his or her age at death.
Spouses and Children Payment Benefits
A beneficiary must have been living in the same household when their spouse died or meet other special conditions reviewed by the Social Security Administration. A child of the deceased may receive the payment if there is not an eligible surviving spouse, or they became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death and conditions are met. A lump-sum death payment (LSDP) of $255 happens just one time and is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits calculated on the earnings of the person who died and is a percentage of the deceased’s basic Social Security benefit.
Spouses or children need to apply in order to receive benefits and can do so at any Social Security office or by telephone within two years of their loved one’s death. We understand all of this can be confusing and tiresome to understand. Before you attempt to work through understanding the details, or want to file for social security survivor benefits, we advise you to please contact our office so that you don’t jeopardize your status.
Owensboro and Madisonville Social Security Lawyers
Rhoads & Rhoads has been protecting the rights of workers and their families throughout Western Kentucky for over 43 years. If a loved one is now deceased, and you are pursuing or waiting on survivor Social Security benefits on their behalf, our team of experienced attorneys and knowledgeable support staff are available to help you through this difficult time and get you the financial recovery you deserve.
We offer free initial consultations, and all cases are taken on a contingency fee basis. This means there is no payment required up front and there is NO RISK involved. Your monthly benefits will not be affected by working with one of our attorneys. Call us at 888-709-9329 or contact us by e-mail to schedule an appointment.