Social Security Survivor Benefits

Family members enduring the loss of a loved one may qualify for Social Security survivor benefits. The Social Security Administration normally awards these benefits to spouses and children of deceased individuals. Social Security survivor benefits eligibility is based on various factors as with most social security benefits programs.

There are a number of different requirements you must meet to enroll in Social Security. Once you apply for Social Security survivor benefits, after a short time, you will learn if you qualify to collect support. Once you successfully enroll in the program, you may begin to collect benefit funds.

Who is eligible for survivor benefits from Social Security?

Before you begin applying for Social Security survivor benefits, you should make sure you qualify to enroll. Generally, this means that you are one of the these types of relatives to a Social Security retirement benefits recipient:

  • Children.
  • Former spouse.
  • Widows and widowers.

In some cases, a stepchild, parent or grandchild of a deceased family member may also qualify for Social Security survivor benefits. However, it is wise to consult with your local Social Security office to learn if you might be eligible.

How are Social Security survivor benefits calculated?

The Social Security survivor benefits depend on 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 enrollee received as part of their benefits for paying into the system. As a result, Social security benefits for a spouse or children can vary from one individual to another.

What can I spend Social Security child survivor benefits on?

Social Security survivor benefits for children can help those that are struggling financially after a parent passes away. These benefits may only be used to make specific purchases supporting the child’s well being. You may 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, or virtually anything that supports the child’s health welfare and safety.

Are Social Security spousal survivor benefits taxable?

This depends on how much you earn. There are several factors that determine how your benefits are taxed. If you have specific questions about how your Social Security survivor benefits can affect you, contact an accountant and your Social Security office for additional information.

Can I receive survivor benefits and my own Social Security?

You may not collect both benefits simultaneously. Once you begin collecting your own Social Security benefits, you cannot continue collecting survivor support. The nice thing though is that the Social Security Administration will pay you the higher of the two amounts.