Survivor Programs

What type of family Social Security benefits are available after the disabled/retired member passes away – aka survivorship benefits?
Each surviving family member of a deceased individual might be eligible to collect survivor Social Security benefits up to the deceased’s projected retirement benefit rate, subject to a family maximum of 150 percent to 180 percent of the deceased’s benefit. In addition, a special one-time payment of $255 might be made to the deceased’s spouse or minor children.

- Spouse

  • caring for children under age 16, or 75%
  • Full Retirement Age (FRA) or greater, or 100% (see FRA table)
  • age 62, or (early penalty may be permanent) 83%
  • age 60, or (early penalty may be permanent) 71.5%
  • age 50 (if disabled) (early penalty applies) 71.5%

- Child

  • under 18, (or under 19 & high school) or, 75%
  • any age, if disabled before age 22 50%

If the sum of the benefit exceeds the family maximum, remaining family members’ benefits are reduced proportionately.