SSI Survivor's Benefits

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The Social Security Administration calls SSI (Supplemental Security Income) an insurance for working Americans. When the wage earner dies or retires, SSI survivor’s benefits are distributed to the spouse and children. According to the Social Security Administration, 98 of every 100 children are eligible for SSI survivor’s benefits if their parents die.

Amount of Benefits

Children’s benefits are half of the retired or disabled worker’s benefit amount. They can also receive 75 percent of the benefits of the deceased parent’s benefits. The limit for the entire family is 150 to 180 percent of the worker’s full benefits amount allowed.

Widow and Widower Benefits

The spouses of a person who has accumulated enough credits for SSI can receive benefits. The Social Security Administration estimates that 10 years of work is required to accumulate enough credits. The spouse can be any age if raising dependent children under 19 (18 if married and/or out of school). Otherwise, the surviving spouse must be 60 if receiving benefits due to a death and 50 if receiving benefits due to disability. Surviving spouses who are divorced may also be eligible if the marriage was longer than 10 years and the surviving ex-spouse is over age 60 or age 50 if the worker is disabled. The surviving spouse could not have married before age 60 or 50 minimum dates. The surviving spouse can only receive one benefit at a time despite qualifying for other benefits. For example, if your spouse has died, but you qualify for retirement benefits, you will receive the higher of the two benefits, not both.

Children's Benefits

The Social Security Administration estimates that $1.6 billion in Social Security is being distributed to about 3.8 million children. Children of deceased workers who have earned enough Social Security credits and kids with disabled parents receive SSI survivor benefits. The child must be unmarried and younger than 18, or 19 if he is still in high school. Disabled children also receive SSI. The child may also receive benefits past the age of 19. Adopted, step and grandchildren can be eligible as well.

Dependent Parents

If a deceased worker was providing at least 1/2 of the monetary support of his parents, those parents can qualify for SSI survivor's benefits if they are at least 62 years old.


About the Author

Jonita Davis is freelance writer and marketing consultant. Her work has appeared in various print and online publications, including "The LaPorte County Herald Argus" and Davis also authored the book, "Michigan City Marinas," which covers the history of the Michigan City Port Authority. Davis holds a bachelor's degree in English from Purdue University.

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