What Are The Benefits Of The Deceased Employee For Social Security?

It is undeniably a devastating happening when any family loses its breadwinner. Life is uncertain and many sad incidents take place including death, which brings a great amount of suffering and pain both emotionally and financially. This is the main reason why the Federal Government has given a chance to the family members to get benefits and support them financially. Yes, true! Social Security is the popular program in the US, controlled by the Social Security Administration, which provides survivor benefits to the troubled families but with some terms and conditions.

A deceased person’s family can only take the support of these benefits if he or she was working and paying for Social Security. Of course, there may be some other conditions, where survivor benefits are given. Through the years, Social Security has been the major source of income for those surviving children, spouses, and parents of the employees who have died and fulfilled all the criteria designed by the federal agency.


Who are eligible?

The survivor’s benefits from Social Security are paid to widowers, widows, and dependents of those workers who were involved in the Social Security payments. The primary motive of this benefit is to help young families with kids. If you are going to claim for survivor’s benefits from SS if your spouse dies, then you need to realize its basics at the first step. After going through its basics, you will know what to expect. Let’s discuss some basic concepts of the survivor’s benefits:

Family members may get survivor’s benefits if an employee dies

If an individual is working and making investments in Social Security, then he/she becomes qualified for Social Security. Some of the taxes are paid by them are for survivor benefits. His/her parents, children, and spouse could be entitled to benefits, which are based on their earnings.

A person may get survivors benefits when his/her family member dies

If his/her family member dies, then he/she is entitled to get these benefits. Even, other family members are also eligible to get such SS benefits depending on the employee’s earnings who died. The condition here is that the deceased individual must have been in employment for longer, only he or she can become qualified for benefits.

How a surviving a spouse can get survivor benefits?

Yes, but there are several conditions to be met and if you meet them, then you are going to avail complete benefits of survivors when it comes to Social Security. These are:

  • You were in the marriage for at least 9 months immediately before the death of your spouse
  • You should be 60 or older, 50 or older and disabled, caring for a 16-year child or getting SS disability benefits according to the earnings record of your spouse
  • Your partner was ‘fully insured’ following the Social Security. It means that he/she had been in employment and invested in this system for a long time
  • You have not married again before age sixty or disabled with 50 years in age
  • You must be getting less Social Security benefits every month than your partner received. In case, if your own SS benefit is more than the survivor benefit you will be eligible to get, you are going to apply for survivor SS benefits, you will delay retiring on your own salary record.

Another important criterion is that a surviving divorced a spouse may also be entitled to these benefits if he or she was in the marriage to the qualified deceased individual for at least 10 years.

Can your child get survivor benefits?

The foremost condition your child should meet is that he or she must not be married and one of these:

  • Should not be more than 18 years
  • Should have an age of 18 to 19 years with a full-time study but no greater than grade 12
  • Should be 18 years old or more with a disability, which must have begun before the age of 22

In any case, if you have a stepchild, then conditions may differ. For that, you need to contact SSA.

Can you get a lump-sum death benefit?

Before you know the eligibility of the lump-sum death benefit, you should understand what it is. A lump-sum benefit is a one-time payment to a surviving partner. This payment is also eligible for a minor child in case if there is no partner, but a minor child needs to meet certain other conditions. If no child or spouse fulfills the requirements, this payment is not given.

Now, if you are a surviving spouse, you are eligible to get this lump-sum benefit, only if:

  • Before your spouse’s death, you were married for at least 9 months immediately.
  • You were staying together in the same house when your partner died. Nursing homes and hospital stays may have different exceptions.
  • Your deceased partner was ‘fully insured’ as per SS. It states that your partner had worked and compensated for the system for a long time.
  • You apply for a one-time payment or lumps-um benefit within 2 years of your partner’s death

Can your child get a lump-sum benefit?

Your child will be able to get lump-sum benefit only if there is no qualifying surviving partner and he/she must be availing benefits on the dead parent’s earnings record in the month his/her parent died.

You must remember one thing that a surviving partner and child both cannot avail a lump-sum death payment.

Documents required

When you want to apply for your survivor’s benefits, at that time, you need to submit some documents. The type of survivor’s benefits you are going to avail impacts the documents needed to submit. These are:

  • Widowers/widows or surviving divorced spouse’s benefits
  • Lump-sum death payment
  • Child’s benefits
  • Parent’s benefits

In all these cases, documents may be different, this is why you need to clear it out first. The chances may be, in which you do not have all the required documents, it does not mean that you need to delay it, don’t do it. A local SS office can get your information online by contacting the state Bureau of Vital Statistics.