What are survivors' benefits?

If you have enough credits at the time of your death, family members may be eligible for benefits. Eligible family members include:

  1. Widows and widowers age 62 or older;
  2. Disabled widow/widower age 50 or older; 
  3. Widow/widower caring for a child under age 16 or a disabled child who receives Social Security benefits;
  4. Unmarried children under age 18 - or under age 19 while a full-time student in elementary or secondary school - or age 18 or older who is severely disabled;
  5. Parents who were dependent upon you for at least half of their support. 

A one-time $255 lump sum benefit may also be payable.

Divorced widows/widowers may also be eligible for benefits - after your death - based upon your Social Security account.