Death is not something many people like to discuss but unfortunately, it happens. When it does it can seriously affect the surviving family’s finances. You may not be aware of this but there are instances in which a person’s Social Security benefit will carry on after their death. Social Security likely won’t be your only source of retirement income, but knowing how it can change is still important. Today, we’ll briefly touch on who is eligible for survivorship benefits and what those benefit may be.
When a person passes away, those they leave behind are now having to navigate through the Social Security waters. To help make your path as smooth as possible, know that if you meet one of the following criteria, that you should contact the Social Security administration office to claim your Social Security survivor benefit:
Child(ren) under the age of 18 or child(ren) over 18 but disabled prior to age 22
Caretaker of child(ren) under 16 or disabled
Spouse aged 60 or older1
Unmarried divorced spouse either under age 60 and married at least 10 yrs., over age 60 or caring for children under age 16
Dependent parent(s) aged 62 or older1
Be aware that Social Security has a limit to how much a family can receive each month. It’s called the Maximum Family Amount and ranges from 150%-180% of the basic benefit rate. See more on that here. In addition to receiving the Social Security survivor benefits, a spouse or child may also receive a lump-sum death benefit of $255.
Here are some examples of how much a survivor may expect to receive:
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
The above instances are the basic situations, but the rules can get slightly tricky with coordination of benefits, so be sure to click here for more information about survivor’s benefits directly from the Social Security administration. You can also reach our office to schedule a free consultation with a Lockheed Martin retirement specialist and receive a personalized Social Security Optimization Report. To see how much of your Social Security benefits will be taxed, check out our calculator.
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