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What is Survivor Benefits?

Definition of Survivor Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides survivor benefits to certain surviving beneficiaries of insured workers. The amount paid to survivors is based on the average lifetime earnings of the deceased worker. Younger workers will have to work fewer years to qualify, but no worker needs more than 10 years of work to be eligible for benefits. Survivor benefits may be paid to the following: 1) Widows or widowers can receive full survivor benefits at retirement age. Reduced benefits can be received at age 60. Surviving disabled spouses may receive benefits at age 50; 2) Unmarried children under the age of 18 or older if they are attending school full-time; 3) Disabled children who were disabled prior to the age of 22 and remain disabled; 4) Dependent parents may receive benefits if they are 62 years or older; 5) Eligible stepchildren, adopted children and grandchildren may also receive survivor benefits but certain requirements exist. Workers should receive a Social Security statement each year from the SSA which outlines the estimated amount for survivor benefits.

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