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The Importance of Social Security survivors insurance
The loss of the family wage earner can be devastating, both emotionally and financially. Social Security helps by providing income for the families of workers who die. In fact, 98 of ever 100 children could get benefits if a working parent dies. And Social Security pays more benefits to children than any other federal program.
If you are working... what you need o know about survivors benefits
Many people think of Social Security only as a retirement program. But some of the Social Security taxes you pay go toward providing survivors insurance for workers and their families. In fact, the value of the survivors insurance you have under Social Security is probably more than the value of your individual life insurance.
When you die, certain members of your family may be eligible for survivors benefits. These include widows, widowers (and divorced widows and widowers), children and dependent parents.
As you work and pay Social Security taxes, you earn credits toward your Social Security benefits. The number of years you need to work for your family to be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits depends on your age when you die. The younger you are, the fewer years you need to work. But no one needs more than ten years of work to be eligible for any Social Security benefits.
Under a special rule, if you have worked for only one and one-half years in the three years just before your death, benefits can be paid to your children and your spouse who is caring for your children.
When a relative dies... what you need to know about survivors benefits
If you are not currently getting Social Security benefits, you should apply for survivors' benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits will be paid from the time you apply and not from the time the worker died.
The information needed includes:
Proof of death-- either from a funeral home or death certificate;
Your Social Security number, as well as the deceased worker's;
Your birth certificate;
Your marriage certificate, if you are a widow or widower;
Your divorce papers, if you are applying as a divorced widow or widower;
Dependent children's Social Security numbers, if available, and birth certificates;
Deceased worker's W-2 forms or federal self-employment tax return for the most recent year; and
The name of your bank and you account number so your benefits can be deposited directly into your account.
If you are already getting Social Security benefits-- If you are getting benefits as a wife or husband based on your spouse's work, when you report the death to us, we will change your payments to survivors benefits. If we need more information, we will contact you. If you are getting benefits based on your own work, call or visit us and we will check to see if you can get more money as a widow or widower.
For more information, please call us at Burton Funeral Home, 814/454-4551 or
read more about survivors benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov.
Social Security Administration. (2012). SSA Publication No. 05-10084. ICN 468540.
Retrieved from www.socialsecurity.gov