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Do You Know How Social Security Survivor Benefits Work?

Do you know how many people receive a check from the Social Security Administration? Approximately 42.4 million people claim Social Security retirement checks, and about 14 million claimants are disabled workers. But did you know there is another group of Social Security claimants that get checks from the program? These beneficiaries claim Social Security survivor benefits, and it is an important part of the system that you need to understand.

How Do You Claim Social Security Survivor Benefits?

To claim these benefits, the worker who passed away must have worked long enough to qualify. For younger workers, that can be as little as a year, but the older you are, the longer your work record must be. The next factor is that the worker’s survivor must be an immediate relation that was dependent upon the worker. This often includes spouses, children of a certain age, and in rare instances—step-relatives, adopted relatives, grandchildren or even dependent parents. Survivor benefits can even be claimed for children over 18 who have a severe disability that started before they turned 22.

Fewer than 6 million of the total 62 million Social Security claimants are survivors of a qualified worker, and most of those claimants are widows, widowers and children. It’s also estimated that only around 1,000 dependent parents collect survivor benefits. The average size of a survivor’s claim check is $1,129 a month, which can be a significant contribution to their lives moving forward.

Considering how rare and unknown this benefit can be, getting legal help could be a major factor in filing a claim. Contact a disability benefits attorney for more help, and don’t forget to keep checking our blog for even more information about Social Security programs you may not have known about.


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