Survivors Benefits

Who is eligible for disability survivor benefits?

When a worker dies, certain family members may be eligible for Social Security disability survivor benefits. MN benefits are based on the earnings record of the person who died. The more the deceased worker paid into SSA, the greater your disability benefit amount will be. In order to determine the amount of Social Security survivor benefit available the SSA uses the deceased workers’ basic benefit amount and calculates what percentage survivors are entitled to. The percentage depends on the age of the survivors and their relationship to the deceased worker.

  • Widow or widower – 65 years or older generally receives full benefits (100% of the worker’s basic benefit amount);
  • Widow or widower age 60 to full retirement age, receives around 71-99 percent of the deceased worker’s basic benefit amount;
  • Dependent parents at age 62 or older;
  • Widow or widower at any age if he or she has a child under 16, receives 75 percent of the worker’s benefit amount;
  • Unmarried children under 18 or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time;
  • Disabled widow or widower as early as age 50.

There is a one-time Social Security survivor benefit payment of $255 that can be made to a spouse or minor children when a worker dies if they have worked long enough and you meet certain requirements.

There is also a maximum family survivor benefit that limits the amount paid to family members each month. The limit varies, but it is typically between 150 and 180 percent of the deceased worker’s benefits amount.

If you need help working with Social Security survivor benefits a Minnesota Social Security survivor benefits attorney at Fields Law Disability Center can help you understand what benefits are available.