Social Security Benefits For A Surviving Spouse

If you are receiving disability under the Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) program, your surviving spouse may be entitled to receive benefits on your record if you pass away.  The monthly benefit would be a percentage of the decedents Social Security benefit.  According to the Social Security Administration (SSA), the percentages allowed for the decedent’s dependents are as follow:

  • Widow or widower, full retirement age or older — 100 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit amount;
  • Widow or widower, age 60 to full retirement age — 71½ to 99 percent of the deceased worker’s basic amount;
  • Disabled widow or widower aged 50 through 59 — 71½ percent;
  • Widow or widower, any age, caring for a child under age 16 — 75 percent.
  • A child under age 18 (19 if still in elementary or secondary school) or disabled — 75 percent.
  • Dependent parent(s) of the deceased worker, age 62 or older:
    • One surviving parent — 82½ percent.
    • Two surviving parents — 75 percent to each parent.

If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who dies, you could get benefits just the same as a widow or widower, provided that your marriage lasted 10 years or more.  Also, note that if you remarry after you reach age 60 (age 50 if disabled), the remarriage will not affect your eligibility for survivors benefits.

In addition to the above benefits, a surviving spouse may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they were living in the same household or:

  • were already receiving benefits on the worker’s record; or
  • became eligible for benefits upon the workers death.