Losing a family member is a very challenging and emotional experience, and may leave a person with questions about how they will continue to support themselves and their dependents, especially if the deceased was the primary income earner. To help those who have lost a loved one support themselves, the Social Security Administration provides survivors’ benefits. You can learn more about these benefits by attending a workshop hosted by Harvest Social Security QA.
As explained by the Social Security Administration (SSA), most people only think of retirement benefits when they think about benefits provided by the SSA. However, the SSA also provides a type of life insurance, or benefits for survivors. These benefits are earned by workers during their working years, and in the event of death, children, widows, widowers, and dependent parents can receive payments.
Survivors’ benefits are paid in two ways: a one-time death payment, and a monthly benefit amount. The one-time death payment is paid only to a spouse or a child, and only when certain requirements are met. Regardless of who you are, the one-time death payment is $255. You must apply for the payment within two years of the date of death.
In terms of monthly benefits, the benefit amount that a person will receive is based on the deceased worker’s earnings and basic benefit amount. Upon reaching full retirement age, a widow(er) can typically receive 100 percent of a deceased worker’s basic benefit amount, whereas someone who seeks benefits before reaching full retirement age will only receive between 71-99 percent of the full benefit amount (depending upon when benefits are claimed). However, a widow or widower who has a child under age 16, regardless of their age (i.e. they do not have to wait until reaching full retirement age to claim benefits) will receive 75 percent of the deceased worker’s full benefit amount. A child will also receive 75 percent of the deceased worker’s full benefit amount, but a family–as a whole–can only receive between 150 and 180 percent of the deceased worker’s full benefit amount.
Many people living in Indiana who are eligible for survivors’ benefits through the SSA wonder how their benefits will be affected if they are not ready to stop working. If you are still working at the time you start claiming survivors’ benefits, your benefit amount may be reduced, as there is a limit on how much you can earn while receiving benefits if you are receiving benefits before reaching full retirement age. However, once you reach full retirement age (which depends on the year you were born), there is no limit on the amount of money you can earn.
Knowing the future is impossible, which is why it is important to have a plan in place in case something is to happen to you or a loved one. Survivors’ benefits from the Social Security Administration can be an important part of that plan. To learn more about survivors’ benefits and things that could affect your benefit amount, sign up for a free Social Security workshop in Indiana provided by Harvest Social Security QA. We provide accurate answers to tough questions! You can reserve your spot online today.
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