Each working person is eligible to earn up to 4 credits per year toward their Social Security retirement fund, and no person needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work) to qualify for benefits. In the event of the death of a loved one, these credits can be passed on to surviving widows or widowers, divorced spouses, or the biological children of the worker. A survivor is eligible to collect on a worker’s Social Security benefits in the following ways:
- If at full retirement age, a widow or widower is eligible for 100% of a deceased worker’s benefits.
- If the widow or widower is aged 60 years – full retirement age, he or she is eligible for 71.5 – 99% of the deceased spouse’s basic benefit amount.
- A disabled widow or widower aged 50-59 years may be eligible for 59-71.5% of the deceased spouse’s basic benefit amount
- If the widow or widower is caring for the biological child of the deceased person, he or she may be eligible for 75% of the deceased person’s benefits, regardless of his or her age.
- If the deceased person’s child is under 18 years of age, or is disabled, he or she may be eligible for 75% of the deceased person’s benefits.
The particulars of understanding Survivor’s benefits can be confusing, and the process of applying may seem overwhelming during the grieving process. If you have recently become a widow or widower and are interested in finding out more about your rights, Survivor’s benefits, the process of applying, please contact the Coye Law Firm today to speak with one of our compassionate, knowledgeable representatives.