If a spouse or parent dies, you may be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. This is a guide about receiving Social Security survivor benefits.
By bnemet1994 1
My father died in 2005 and my mom has been receiving checks in my name from my father's Social Security. I know the money is for clothing, support, food for me, etc. When I turned 18 my last check came in and my mom asked me to sign it over to her because I was 18. Could I have said no and kept the check? Or was I required to sign it over to her?
December 10, 2015
You are never required to sign over a check in your name to anybody. It is yours.
My brother recently died and he has two children. Their mother receives their money now; she is not giving it to them. Can they switch it over to mother or I?
February 16, 2014
Are the kids minors? As a whole the money is intended to support them, not for them to spend on whatever they want. Furthermore, it isn't needed for actual support, how do you know their mother isn't saving it for college? This is something like child support, which is intended to help provide the necessities that a kid needs, not to let them have all kinds of fun with it. Talk to your local Social Security Office and see what they say.
February 16, 2014
My children get ss since their father passed away. The money is for their food, their share of rent or mortgage, utilities, insurance, dental, eye glasses, class ring, yearbook, clothing, shoes, their share of a overnight trip if we take one, field trips.
If you look at the check, you will notice it is made to the adult whom they live with. Mine is made out to me, "on behalf of" their name. The money is not to be given to the children to blow. On the other hand, my kids are in high school now, so I am saving part for college, and I do give them each an allowance out of it.
My ex passed away March 14th. We have 2 children together. My question is are they eligible to receive SSI benefits? One of the children is his biologically, but the other one was fathered by someone else.
My ex was the only dad he has ever known, he's even got his last name. I also have the paper they give you at the hospital, when a child is born for the father to sign, saying the child is theirs without a doubt. He signed that saying our son was his. I have several witnesses that can say he claimed him as being his son.
However, his name isn't on either birth certificate because a nurse at the hospital after the delivery, told me that if we added his name he would be responsible for the hospital bills. I knew we couldn't afford that so I left it as unknown. Will this matter?
September 12, 2013
I applied for survivors benefits for my daughter when she was 6 months and was denied like 6 times. They said that she would need a paternity test. Her father is deceased, he died before she was born. They said that I would have to get a paternity test from someone in his family so I paid for a paternity test and his mother agreed to take it. It came back that she was the grandmother.
When I showed them the test, they approved it and she received 1300 in back pay and 223 a month for a year. When they approved me for it, I wanted to appeal the back pay because I didn't think it was right. I was down to the last appeal to see the judge. I went in the office to appeal it and they didn't give me the proper paper work so they end up letting my 90 days expire and said in the notes that I was ok with the backpay decision. I kept asking about the appeal and was basically told that no decision had been made and that they would contact me. So I called the toll free number to speak with someone and was told that the appeal had never been filed. So they put it in the notes for them to get in touch with me. I went the next day and told them I wanted to check on the appeal and the guy said they had to do some research on my case and they would get in touch with me but never did. The next week when I went up there, they said that they overpayed me and that she wasn't supposed to be getting the money because they couldn't used the DNA from his mother. Can they do that?
By Linda S. 1
My daughter's dad passed away going on 7 years now and I was wondering if she is entitled to Social Security. See the situation is kinda difficult. When he died the Rio Rancho police department was held accountable and a lawsuit was won and trust funds were set up for my daughter and her step siblings.
As with all trust funds there are requirements, like she is not entitled to her money until she is older; I think in 3 different payments. Well while he was alive I filed for child support. We went to court and support was granted for my daughter. He never made not even one payment and he passed away like 3 years later. I need help now. Times are getting tougher and she is getting older and I was wondering if I am entitled to any Social Security even though there is a trust fund.
December 2, 2015
Only the Social Security office can answer your questions.
Just be sure to have as many legal documents as possible so maybe you will only have to make one trip.
Be sure to have Your daughter's birth certificate, SS card/number as well as your own information.
You may need a copy of her dad's death certificate as well as any information concerning your divorce (?) and papers showing the decision for him to pay child support.
It is always better to have more information than you need than not to have enough.
You did not say how old your daughter is right now but benefits are only paid until the child reaches 18 or maybe 19 as long as they are still in school.
The trust fund will probably not enter into this picture if she will be past 18 years old when payments begin.
I took care of my momma for nearly 3 years and up til she took her last breath I was her caregiver. Can I get survivors benefits?
December 1, 2015
Survivor benefits are paid for the care of minor children (or disabled) and some benefits may be paid to a serving spouse at retirement age.
You can check out the Social Security web site and probably find your answer or pay a visit to their office.
By realdeal98 1
I'm 17; my parents were never married, and my father passed away when I was 11. I receive Social Security because he passed, but it goes to my mom and stepdad since I live with them. What is the purpose of Social Security? My mom says my father never paid child support, but now she's saying he did when I've asked her about my SS. They use it pay the car insurance and car bills. Do you think it is fair? They don't put any of it away for me for college, and when I ask they get upset. I'll be 18 throughout my senior year of highschool. Are the benefits suppose to go directly to me when I turn 18?
November 24, 2015
You can receive a lot of information from the Social Security office. They can explain what these benefits are supposed to be used for and also tell you how much longer benefits will be paid. I do not believe that you can receive the checks in your name as long as you are living with your mother as she is providing for your care.
Also, your mother has to complete a form from the SS every year explaining what the money was used for.
I am 18 years old with a 18 year old girlfriend. We have a beautiful daughter together that I love with all my heart. But here is the trick, I get a SS check for my father dying while I was still in school.
When my girlfriend gave birth I was forced to drop out to go to work to provide for them, but kept getting my check every month. I know this was wrong, but the check was the only thing getting us by. Now 9 months after I dropped out I have to file taxes for the year of 2013 and I'm worried.
What's the worst that could happen? and what are the steps to making it right? My family can't afford for me to be locked up and I just need advise. Please reply as quickly as possible. Thank you.
February 27, 2014
Your best answer would be to talk to your local Social Security Office. My guess is you will be expected to pay all or part of it back.
February 28, 2014
I certainly agree that you need to go to your SS office as soon as possible so you will know where you stand.
I would like to add that I applaud you for wanting to do the right thing as I know some people would not take this stand and just wait to see if they were ever "caught".
I do not know how much money you make each month but you may be eligible for some sort of assistance and even a small amount might help.
According to what solution the SS offers you, it may be wise to try and get some legal advise. Go to your local church and see if they can recommend someone to help you.
I hope they will let you pay it off in small monthly payments.
Good luck and please - go to your SS office and do not take advise from just "anyone".
My father died 3 years ago of cancer at a young age. Am I able to get his Social Security benefits? I am a single mom of two and I am having a hard time making ends meet. This would help me greatly.
January 21, 2014
I'm not sure about this, but being you are an adult I honestly don't see how you would qualify for survivor's benefits from your late Dad's Social Security. It would be different if you had a spouse and he had died. Call your local Social Security Office and make an appointment to talk to them. You aren't the only one having a hard time making ends meet, there are a lot of people in that situation.
I just found out my ex-husband died; we were married for 16 years, but divorced for 33. I also just found out he remarried, but am not sure for how long. Do I get my ex-husband's survivor's benefits or do I have to share with the current wife? They couldn't have been married for more than 10 years because she was still married to someone else in 2004. Thanks.
By LD Jones
April 18, 2015
Books are nice and have a lot of information but laws/rules change frequently and it is rare that a book can cover all factors of something like this.
You can get all the current/up-to-date information/answers if you pay a visit to your SSA office. You do not state how old you are but I assume you are currently drawing SS benefits or plan to soon?
I am sure you were married long enough to draw from your ex-husbands earnings but you can make a choice between his benefits and your personal benefits when you apply. Your decision of course would be based on the amount of each benefit. If you are presently drawing benefits you can change if his benefit is higher.
I believe you may need your ex-husbands SS number as well as a copy of your marriage certificate and your divorce degree - but you get some preliminary answers with just your ex's SS number and they will tell you what papers you will need to get full disclosure.
I was told that my late husband's survivor benefits were reduced because another name was on his account. The person said that they couldn't divulge the name. How can I find out who it is?
April 21, 2015
Either a former spouse was collecting benefits and/or a child that you had no knowledge of. Go to your local office and speak personally with the manager. Perhaps if you ask if it was a spouse, first then if not a child, they may accommodate your questions without actually divulging private information.
Could this be fraud or is the law being bent? My husband was previously married and had a child from that marriage. He and I were married a short time after his divorce and had children of our own. His ex did not want their child to know about his dad and had him adopted by another man, someone who had been part of his life the whole time.
My husband, then died 7 months after it was finalized. Because my husband relinquished his rights and all financial obligations, how are they able to claim survivors benifets if the law clearly states my husband had to be the legal guardian of his child and was not?
By Confused -N
May 17, 2014
I applaud Charlotte Lenox for stating that fraud is everyone's business as I surely agree.
I do feel that reporting anything should be done by the person who sees it or becomes aware of it. Reporting can also be done anonymously either on the telephone or in writing. All Reports are taken seriously and resolution has to be documented.
I work part-time in this type of environment and know that some people change their mind after they get to the office - conscience? - or - afraid their identity will be disclosed? No one should feel guilty about reporting someone who is abusing the system because - after all - we are the tax payers.
The "guilty" party may surmise as to who they think reported them but all reports are kept confidential unless a paper is signed giving permission to disclose your name.
My father passed away when I was in the fourth grade. I'm just now graduating high school and am about to turn 18. I was receiving Social Security, he was also disabled when he died. Can I still receive it for college?
By Caleb from Chickasha, OK
February 27, 2014
You'll have to get proof of paternity through family court to get the father's name on the birth certificate. I'm going through it now even though my son's grandmother called right after his father died and they said to just come in. I don't need anything. Good thing when I got his birth certificate without his father's name, I called and figured out how to get it on there or I'd be waiting longer than I already have to. I have a court date next month then I have to make another SS appointment once I have the proof.
February 28, 2014
Hi - only the SS office can answer your question.
Be sure to take yours and your dad's SS numbers, as well as a copy of his death certificate.
You may not receive the same benefits but you may be able to get some money for college. Be sure to check with your school's counselor for the kinds of help you may be eligible for.
Good luck and please stay in college if you can.
My ex and I were married for over 34 years. Can I get his Social Security although we were not married when he passed away?
By M. T
July 11, 2013
Hi - you can draw from your ex-husband's social security if you are eligible for SS and was married over 5 years - and if you have not remarried and your own amount is less than what you would receive from his.
I believe the amount from his will be 1/2 of his total but Social Security benefits are changing all the time so you will need to go to your local office for the "truth".
I would carry divorce papers and you will need the date of marriage also - carry your wedding certificate if you have it. They should have the date you changed your last name on record with other information.
My son was born in January of last year. His father and I were not married and his dad lived in a different state. My son was born on a weekend and although his dad was there, nobody was there put him on the birth certificate. He never made it back down before he died in April. So my question is will the state of Tennessee help me get him on the birth certificate so that I can apply for the benefits?
By Becca J
April 1, 2013
Phone the National Toll Free Number for Social Security Administration to determine your rights.
How do I go about drawing Social Security for my child when his father died two months before he was born in 2007 and now here it is 2013?
By Ashley L.
July 1, 2013
You should have contacted SS the day he died. As soon as the child was born he would draw a SS check until the age of 18.
My son's father recently passed. We were not together and even though he didn't sign the birth certificate and wouldn't give his DNA for child support he was put down as the father and was ordered to pay child support, since he wouldn't fight it. My son is 4 years old. Will he receive a check off his father?
By Gina G
July 1, 2013
The deceasedents mother might have to provide her DNA. Parenthood can be established under the law. If mother isn't possible then his father.
I usually offer a tip, but now I have a question. My husband and I receive Social Security benefits. Does the surviving spouse receive a portion of decedent's SS benefit? If divorced? If so, what percentage? If someone can offer a link or other resource for the answer I would appreciate it. Thank you!
June 8, 2011
I had some months ago contacted SS office online by email. No response. Thanks to all of you!
By gnessa44 1
My daughter's dad passed away 6 months ago at the age of 20. My daughter will be two next month. I applied, but was told he didn't have enough work credits, when he had four credits. I've been doing research and found a couple people were eligible when the other deceased parent didn't work at all. What kind of lawyer do I need to talk to? All help is appreciated!
November 13, 2015
Attorneys who handle Social Security issues do not receive any payment from you or anyone else until the issue is resolved. If the issue is resolved in your favor, then the attorney's fee is paid directly from the money award. If you lose your case, the attorney receives nothing. Been there.
If any attorney tries to require any advance payment from you for handling your case, this is illegal and you should report him to the American Bar Association.
My son and I receive Social Security. He is 16 now; will he receive my 700 as well?
October 21, 2015
Only the Social Security Administration can answer your question.
My two boys were receiving survivor benefits from their dad. My oldest just turned 18 and won't be getting his share anymore. Does my 15 year old's benefits go up? I was told by one person from SS yes and no from another.
July 8, 2015
No, they will not go up. My sister and I used to receive survivor benefits, when I turned 18 mine stopped and hers stayed the same. Hope this helps.
My father passed away 2 years ago and my mom receives survivor benefits for both me and my younger sister, who will be 16 next month. My sister is planning on getting engaged and the boy's mother will be her legal guardian. I don't understand much of the situation, so I apologize if this makes no sense. Will my mom still receive the benefits for my sister after this process takes place? She will still be attending school.
April 21, 2015
The persons involved in all of this will have to be the ones asking the questions - and - the Social Security office is the only place to get accurate answers.
Is your mother still receiving benefits for you as well?
It appears that your younger sister is almost 16 then your benefits will soon be ending?
Bear in mind that benefits are paid for care/support of the child until they reach 18-19 and are still in school.
I also believe the "guardian' has to be a legal action and benefits may change if the child marries.
All of these variables are the reason to go to the SS office for answers.
My brother is disabled and doesn't get a lot from a disability check of $740 monthly. He would not be able to live on it if something were to happen to my mother. If my mother were to die, can my brother collect her SS or survivor benefits? They live together now; my father is deceased.
April 19, 2015
Your family should be getting your brother on a waiting list for a rent subsidized apartment. The rent for them runs roughly 30% of a person's income. Most apartments have a good portion of the utilities included in the rent. Also he should qualify for some food stamps.
Has he had any training on how to live independently? If not, he should be receiving some of that. He should know how to shop, do laundry, dishes, a little cooking. Is he working part time, which is something that he should be doing too, he should have a case manager to help him find a job. I have a 46 year old mentally handicapped daughter that lives with me and with our income combined, which both are Social Security, we get rent assistance for our apartment and when I am gone the rent assistance will automatically roll over to her. She has known how to do the laundry for about 20 years, it was a learning process because I knew someday she would have to do it on her own. She also knows how to shop for groceries and how to ask a store employee for help if she needs it. I have taught her how to load the dishwasher, and being she will be on her own in the near future, because I have a new health problem that will make it so that she has to become independent quite soon.
She also has a case managers that when I am gone they will help her pay bills, help her shop, etc. Being my health has taken a turn for the worse, I am also looking at different types of frozen foods that can be heated in the microwave so she won't have to mess with the stove. She has learned how to heat cheeseburger sliders that are in the frozen food department, you can buy french fries that can be heated in the microwave, single serve size pizzas that can be done in the oven or microwave, there is also something called scramblers that are scrambled eggs with diced bacon on some type of a crust.
You can buy small containers of potato salad in deli departments, franks can be heated in the microwave. There is a lot your brother is going to have to know, unless you are planning on taking him in. I don't know what kind of training he has had, but I get the idea from your complaint that he hasn't had a lot of training. My daughter is capable of living alone with the help of her case managers.
As far as help from Social Security goes, if your parents worked enough to draw Social Security when they die, your brother should receive a certain percentage in Survivor's Benefits. I don't know exactly how that is figured, I am going to have to call our SS Office and talk to them about that matter too. I do know the parents have to work a certain period of time in order to qualify.
My daughter's father died and she receives death benefits. I was wondering if she will still receive them if my new husband adopts her?
By Cyndie from Boone, IA
March 6, 2015
Get correct answers at your Social Security office. Very easy to do but may entail a short/long wait - sometimes you can call and make an appointment but still may have a "wait".
I believe that if your daughter is adopted by your present husband her legal status will change and she will no longer be eligible for benefits from her "former/biological" father.
Rules change in all government services so please get your answers from the SS office so you can make an informed choice as to whether this is a good idea. I believe you really need to think about why/reasons you want to do this. Maybe discuss this with a representative of the family services division in your city as there may be other ways to accomplish your "reasons".
My dad died when I was 11. I was then in the state's custody for 2-4 years and I was told that the state can't take your death benefits even when your in foster care. So my question is where did all of that money go?
By Emily from KY
February 9, 2015
First - no one knows how old you are right now or if you are "self supporting" so it just may be irrelevant as to who got "all that money".
Foster care funds are paid to whoever is responsible for taking care of you. These funds/payments to foster parents may come from several sources - the first being SS benefits.
If you are under the age of 18-19 then benefits may still be available if you are still in school (not college).
Pay a visit to your SS office and ask questions.
If I would pass away before the age of 62 would my wife and daughter be a eligible for survivor benefits?
August 31, 2014
One more thought....if your wife (after your death) remarries she will no longer receive benefits but the minor child or children will. When my Dad died my Mother's benefits stopped when she remarried my step-father but she continued to get benefits for my brother until he turned 18.
My father never married my mother, they lived together for more than fifty years. My father passed away October 27, 2013. Can my mother collect Social Security benefits even though they weren't married?
August 17, 2014
weinerdog41 has a good point about "common law marriage" and there is a lot of information concerning this subject on the SS web site. The problem is that cases etc. can be very confusing and each one is a different situation.
A SS decision will be based on where you live (and where you lived at the time of cohabitation) as well as many other factors.
I believe this person should hire an attorney that specializes in SS benefits before she actually files as every statement made to the SS office will be recorded and just one incorrect comment could cause a lot of trouble in getting a good decision.
There is a child in this relationship and that many times acts in the persons favor - even if the child is now an adult.
My grandson received benefits after his mother's passing. He is now 18 and graduated from high school at the end of May. Will he get final check in June? He is going to college full time in August. Also will benefits continue since he'll be a full time student?
By Barbara B.
October 28, 2014
I can answer this for you if you haven't had an answer by now. Benefits stop after a child graduates from high school. They no longer pay benefits for full time college students.
I have a friend who has a daughter by her ex-boyfriend. He was killed in 2012. The daughter can't receive SS survival benefits because the father didn't have enough credits when he died. So she was denied. Is there anything else she could get? Does anybody know?
May 30, 2014
Just a comment about "free" insurance with a bank: this type of insurance is usually always "accident" insurance and does not cover a "natural" death.
My husband passed and my 2 sons and I have been receiving the benefits! Both are in school, a 16 and 17 year old. As soon as the youngest turned 16 they sent me a letter saying that he will no longer receive benefits as he doesn't need care as a child! I do not understand.
By Andreia from Costa Mesa, CA
March 31, 2014
Benefits usually last until the child turns 18 or graduates from high school. Maybe they misread the child's age or had it posted incorrectly. Call to get the info verified or corrected.
My niece lost her mother (my twin sister) 10 years ago, and we recently found out her biological father passed away 4months ago. I have guardianship of her now, and she is 15 years old. Can she receive benefits from her biological father as well or can she receive benefits in place of the amount she currently is getting from her mom's passing?
February 23, 2014
Call your local Social Security Office and talk to them. They are the only people that will know the correct answer.
February 25, 2014
redhatterb is absolutely correct - the Social Security office is the only place that can give you the correct answer.
I can tell you this much from experience - You should be able to chose which person to receive benefits from so you should be able to choose the highest benefit. It will go smoother if you have their social security numbers.
You will only receive benefits from one person.
My father passed away and I received something in the mail that he is entitled to a little more Social Security, however they require my birth certificate which I can not find. It also states something about wanting the birth certificates of next of kin which would be my siblings, so could I just possibly use one or all of theirs and not mine?
By Jeff. O
January 22, 2014
Look up your state online and when you look at different parts of the site, it will tell you how to go about obtaining different certificates. There will probably even be a form that you can print out, fill out and send it to the proper address. Some states also have it set up that you can go to your county courthouse and apply for the certificates that you need. There will be a fee to obtain the copies and where I live that is $15.00 for each certificate.
My sister and I were 12 and 17, when our father passed away. That was 16 years ago. He was 41 years old at the time. I'm not sure when he became a US citizen, but it must of been at least 5 years prior to his death. My question is how can I find out if we are now at this day and age eligible to receive his survival benefits if any and if these even apply?
By Liz N.
December 21, 2013
I have three daughters one is 18 and is graduating high school, I'm wanting to know if her benefit payments will be split amongst the other two who are 15 and 16.
My husband is wanting to adopt my daughter and she receives Social Security from her father who passed away while I was pregnant. Will she still get her Social Security checks if she takes my husband's last name and does not have her father's last name?
By Courtney P. from Knoxville, TN
June 6, 2011
My husband died of cancer in 1986 when my son was 18 months of age. My son received Social Security survivor's benefits until age 18, even though he was adopted by my husband after I remarried. We even got a replacement birth certificate with his "new" last name. Don't know if the rules have changed since then, so it's best to check with your local Social Security office.
My mother passed away when I was ten and I receive Social Security benefits. I was wondering if I start to work would that be taken away from me I'm only 16?
August 8, 2015
You can access on line and ask your question. It will be quicker and easier than trying to get an appointment. I honestly don't think so, my daughter received benefits when her father died, but it is best to check with social security. Good luck and congrats on the new job.
My 10 year old daughter's father died. We were never married, he is on her birth certificate, we have a standing child support order, and he was in arrears. Will she qualify for Social Security dependent survivor benefits?
If my ex-boyfriend was ever to pass away would I be able to receive Social Security benefits for our son that we have together. He's on his birth certificate and pays child support through the courts, so he's biologically his. My ex remarried and they have a kid together. I am just curious cause I always think ahead. I think it's while my son is under 18, I didn't know how it would work since my son's father married and had a kid as well. Altogether my son's dad has 8 kids, by four different women. One is almost 18, 4 other ones are ages 9-15, and their new child with his wife is almost 1. My son, that we have together is 6. One out of the 8 kids he gave up for adoption. Thanks! He has custody of 5 of the 8, 2 of the kids now are 14 and 15.
June 23, 2015
So you're thinking ahead to your ex's death, but he isn't even sick?
I'm a little more concerned with the state of your mental health than with answering your question.
If you do receive a windfall, I hope you use it to get therapy. There are obviously some unresolved issues here.
My mom passed away on October 13, 2014 and my dad applied for survivor's benefits and was approved. Since then, he's remarried and moved off. He gets that money and transfers it out of the bank account it's deposited into and spends it on my stepmom's needs and bills.
When my dad died, my mom signed up for his Social Security when I wasn't living with her and used the money to fix up her boyfriend's house. How do I go about getting it back? I am turning 18 in a couple of weeks and need it to move out.
My brother passed away. He was not married. Can an old girlfriend receive his benefits?