Your Social Security benefits don’t necessarily end when you pass away. It is possible your dependents could receive survivor’s benefits.

Social Security is a retirement plan that gives us monthly payments when we retire. You do not name a beneficiary for your Social Security but that does not mean that your savings can’t be passed on through survivor’s benefits.

The Lowell Sun recently listed who might be eligible for those benefits in “Social Security has survivor’s benefits.”

Social Security Survivor's Benefits


A widow or widower can get full survivor’s benefits when he or she reaches retirement age or sooner if taking care of a child under the age of 16.

Divorced Widow/Widower

Someone who was married to the deceased for at least 10 years may be able to get survivor’s benefits.

Minor Children

Children of the deceased under the age of 18 are eligible for the benefits. If still a full-time student, then benefits are available until the age of 19. Benefits can be claimed at any time if the child of the deceased became disabled before the age of 22.


If a parent depended on the deceased for at least half of his or her support and the parent is over the age of 62, then the parent is eligible for survivor benefits.

An elder law attorney could answer your questions about eligibility for survivor benefits.

Philip J. Kavesh
Nationally recognized attorney helping clients with customized estate planning guidance for over 40 years.
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