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Receiving Social Security Survivor Benefits

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.
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Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

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March 16, 2017 Flag

My ex son-in-law just passed away (51 yrs old always worked). He left behind three boys (10 yr old twins and an 8 yr old brother plus my daughter his recent ex). The boys were born in Alabama and still reside there with my daughter. She has an upcoming meeting with Social Security. Do you have any idea what she will get per child and does she qualify for benefits? Thank you.

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March 16, 20170 found this helpful

The boys will qualify for survivor benefits. She can get half of the social security he would have gotten if he had lived. I can't give you the exact amount because that depends on how many years he worked.

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February 21, 2017 Flag

My husband passed away. My children and I were all eligible to receive benefits. They did. I didn't. I think it was taken for student loans. It's been 6yrs. Was that money applied to my defaulted loans?

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February 27, 20170 found this helpful

it seems like your student loans would not be paid in this way, without your knowledge. I don't believe student loans can take SSI payments, but the best thing to do is to ask, call the student loan provider or te SSI

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February 15, 2014 Flag

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?

By KC

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February 16, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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March 7, 2017 Flag

My son's father passed away at the age of 18 ten years ago this October. He worked for a month maybe 2 before he passed. My question is how come my son isn't entitled to any type of benefit? I have contacted Social Security and they said his father didn't work enough terms to have my son receive survivor benefits. Does anyone else have this situation? What should I do? No child support obviously and no survivor benefits.

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March 7, 20170 found this helpful

Social Security would calculate what the benefit would have been if your son's father had reached full retirement age. However, only working a month or two would not be much, if anything. I did read that your son may be entitled to a lump-sum benefit. I would suggest you make an appointment with Social Security.

Here is where I got the information: https://www.ssa  /onyourown5.html

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February 27, 2017 Flag

I filed for death benefits on August 02, 2016. They said that I should have my check by the beginning of September and I still have not received my money. I have been to my local Social Security board office and they say its in the payment center and they can't do anything! So what do I do to get my money?

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February 28, 20170 found this helpful

You should hire an attorney to speak for you. My situation is similar with my grandson. I have contacted the SSA six times in two different states and many telephone calls, along with speaking to a supervisor in person, with promises of we will resolve this matter in two weeks. I have contacted an attorney to assist me in this matter, and I'll let you know how it ends.

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February 5, 2017 Flag

I have a 16 year old son who receives survivor benefits. He is staying with his grandpa while going to school. I send him money every month to live on. I have been saving money in his savings account since he has been gone, can he sue me for that?

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February 7, 20170 found this helpful

Thank You for the reply! I turn in the paperwork whenever I receive it.

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January 15, 2017 Flag

My mother passed away. I'm assuming her husband got the life insurance. There is some SSSI. Does that go to anyone? She had 3 kids, older and her husband of 18 years.

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January 18, 20170 found this helpful

I may be wrong but I have always thought benefits only go to minor children but with anything the best place to go is to the professionals.... call the SS office. Good luck

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February 5, 2017 Flag

I have recently gained legal custody of my 9 year old granddaughter. I am 56 and have long term disability and am in the process of gaining SS disability approval. My granddaughter's father recently passed away and I need to know if she'll be able to draw a survivor benefit from her father (does have sufficient earning qtrs) or should I look to adopt her and have her draw from my disability.

I would presume that her draw capacity would be higher through my eligibility compared to her father's. Or would my max draw capacity be reduced if she draws from me. The mother is incarcerated and I don't believe is a factor in the scenario. I would greatly appreciate your guidance.

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February 6, 20170 found this helpful

Only ss could determine which way you need to go. However, bear in mind that if you adopt her, it can take years to go thru, even for a family adoption.

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December 27, 2016 Flag

Have a friend who is a grandmother raising her grandkids after her daughter has died of cancer. I was told the benefits could help her with paying bills and making sure the kids get what they need and want. Also, that the money can be used to pay the bills for their internet and TV, electric, and other bills. Is this correct? This friend wanted to know to make sure she was doing right?

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December 29, 20161 found this helpful

I have reread your question and I am wondering if it is possible that we are reading your question incorrectly?

Is the grandmother already receiving benefits and you (or your friend) are wondering if the grandmother is using the money properly?

Are you asking if these are the types of item that benefits should be used for?

If this is the case, then most of this information can be obtained in free SS pamphlets/or over the internet or anyone can ask general questions at their Social Security office (anonymously if desired).

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March 31, 2016 Flag

I was receiving Social Security benefits as a survivor after my father passed away. I recently turned 18 in March. I did not receive anything from work. Should I have received something for the month of March and do I get a lump sum?

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May 9, 20160 found this helpful

Carolina - you would receive more answers if you start your own question instead of asking on someone's question.

I believe the only answer to your question is to ask at your local SS office.

It may be that you have to remain in school to receive benefits but you may be able to work part time.

Are you saying the benefits go to you or to your guardian/parent? Generally benefits are paid to the person responsible for your care (housing, food, clothing, etc.) and are paid as long as the child is in school (not college) but I do not believe they will pay past 19 years of age even if the individual is still in school.

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December 7, 2016 Flag

Is there any way to get my Social Security survivor benefits sent to me since I am only seventeen, but I have a dependent?

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December 9, 20160 found this helpful

it is difficult to give any advice on situations that deal with Social Security Benefits as almost no two cases are alike - similar maybe - but just one item can change the whole answer.

That is the reason it is recommended that you visit your local SS office so you know you are getting the correct information/answers.

There are several questions you will probably have to answer:

1. Are you still in school?

2. Who is receiving your benefit check now?

And are they supplying you a place to live and food?

3. Is the dependent your child and who is caring and providing for this child now?

Be sure to carry any papers that may be relevant to the situation.

SS number for yourself, the dependent, and the person that your benefits are from.

You may also need proof of residence if different from the address where the check is now going.

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April 5, 2016 Flag

The children's father passed away in 2013 so his 2 kids get survivor benefits, but in November of 2015 the mother called for us to get the children. She is getting the money every month saying it's hers, but does not provide for the kids. Is this okay to do? What can we do to get the money for the children if she is the legal guardian?

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April 5, 20161 found this helpful

Contact your local Social Security office to make an appointment to discuss your questions and concerns.

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October 21, 2015 Flag

My son and I receive Social Security. He is 16 now; will he receive my 700 as well?

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October 21, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

Only the Social Security Administration can answer your question.

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November 9, 2015 Flag

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!

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November 13, 20150 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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June 9, 2016 Flag

My daughter just found out that her child's father passed away. He had never seen his daughter, but he did pay support for her through the court. How does my daughter go about getting her child survivor benefits? She has no information on him such as Social Security or death certificate, she also does not know any of his family. How can she get information to apply? SSA states they cant help her unless she can provide this information.

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September 17, 20160 found this helpful

How is it that child support was being taken out but she has absolutely nothing on him? If SSA cannot assist her, she knows nothing about his family....hmmm this could be tough. Here's a few options: 1. Start with the child support office. If they were taking out cs on him then she should have the cs decree. As well they should have her contact information. Tell her not to call, go down there with her daughter's bc, paperwork from cs, her (mom) ID and be prepared to sit a while. 2. His obituary will have the name of the funeral home on there. Perhaps she can look it up to get their name, contact them and attempt to get a copy of his death certificate. 3. The only other thing I can think of is to hire an attorney. They always seem to have a way to obtain information other's cannot. She's going to have to pay I'm sure but she doesn't need to give up. Hopefully by now she has found a way to get her daughter's benefits started but if not one of these may help.

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February 27, 2014 Flag

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.

By a.m

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February 27, 20140 found this helpful
Best Answer

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.

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February 22, 2016 Flag

I am legal guardian to my great niece whose mother died last year. She has lived with me for a year and I just applied for benefits because I didn't even know I could apply for such a thing. I am confused about spending her money. I have been living with my son who owns his house and now my great niece lives here too. I owe him money for back rent for myself and my niece. I also incurred debt raising her for the past year with no help.

Can I use the lump sum I will be receiving to pay for that now? And can I pay my debt off as well? I also will now pay $1000 per month which includes everything, utilities, rent, water, trash removal, cable, etc. Since I will have the extra funds to do so. She receives $700 a month. I will make up the difference and will buy her food, clothing, etc. too. Is this okay? She is on Medicaid so medical is covered. And I have also homeschooled her over the year and will continue to do so. I need help here because I don't want to spend her money illegally. Thank you.

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February 23, 20160 found this helpful

As legal guardian, I would think you have implicite consent to use the money as you see fit (ever mindful of the needs of the child). However, if you can access legal aid (or some form of low cost legal advice), why not get all the information you can?

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November 2, 2016 Flag

I receive a survivor's check since my grandfather died and I was in his care at the time. I recently was adopted by my stepdad and now I have his last name. That was a few months before I turned 18. Now I get the check in my name and I need to change the last name on it.

My parents never changed it for me because I still had my bank in my old name. Now it's been months and I'm scared that if I call up there to change it they will cut it off and make me pay since I didn't tell them within ten days. Can someone please inform me whether or not I can still change my name on the check without getting into trouble for not doing it sooner? It was my parents fault that it was never done and I just recently started looking into it. Please help ASAP!

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November 3, 20160 found this helpful

You need to go to the SS office as soon as possible and have them review your benefits and clear up any problems that may have been caused by this change.

Putting this off is only asking for more problems so please do this as soon as you can.

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April 19, 2015 Flag

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.

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