Survivors Benefits For Your Widow or Widower

You probably know people who are receiving Social Security survivors benefits because they’re a widow or widower. At present, there are about 5 million widows and widowers receiving monthly Social Security benefits based on their deceased spouse’s earnings record. And, for many of those survivors, particularly aged women, those benefits are keeping them out of poverty.

  • Your widow or widower can receive

    Note: If your widow or widower remarries after age 60 (age 50 if disabled), he or she will still be eligible for benefits on your record.

  • Your widow or widower who has not remarried can receive survivors benefits at any age if she or he takes care of your child who is under age 16 or is disabled and receives benefits on your record.

If something happens to you, benefits may be payable to your widow or widower with a disability if the following conditions are met:

  • He or she is between ages 50 and 60.
  • The widow or widower meets the definition of disability for adults.
  • The disability started before your death or within seven years after your death.

    Note: If your widow or widower caring for your children receives Social Security benefits, he or she is eligible if disability starts before those payments end or within seven years after they end.

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