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Benefits for Widows, Widowers & Other Survivors

  • Synopsis: Published: 2010-09-05 - When a person has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies widows widowers and other survivors may be eligible for survivors benefits - Disabled World.

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When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, certain members of the family may be eligible for survivors benefits.

If your divorced spouse dies, you can receive benefits as a widow or widower if the marriage lasted 10 years or longer and you are age 60 or older (or age 50 if you are disabled.)

If you are collecting survivors benefits, you can switch to your own retirement benefits (assuming you are eligible and your retirement rate is higher than the widow or widower's rate) as early as age 62.

Benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse who is 60 or older (age 50 if disabled) will not affect the benefit rates for other survivors receiving benefits.

U.S. Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:

  • Dependent parents age 62 or older
  • A disabled widow or widower, as early as age 50
  • Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
  • A widow or widower, full benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60
  • A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased's child who is under age 16 or disabled, and receiving Social Security benefits
  • Unmarried children under 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending high school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren, or adopted children.

Further Information on Benefits for Widows, Widowers at the U.S. Social Security website - www.ssa.gov/ww&os2.htm



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