Part of planning for the future is also planning for what happens to your social security benefits after your death. The Social Security Administration allows what are termed “survivor benefits” to be paid to the widow or widower of a worker based on that deceased spouse’s earnings record. This benefit has proven to be a true lifeline to many older surviving spouses, especially those who are disabled or who are no longer able to work.
Here’s what most people want to know about survivor’s benefits more than anything else when it comes to long term planning: who qualifies? In simple terms, your widow or widower is eligible to receive reduced survivor benefits on a sliding scale as early as age 60, with full benefits once they reach their full retirement age based on their year of birth. Additionally, if your spouse is disabled and their disability began before or within seven years of your passing, they are eligible to start receiving benefits right away.
Survivor benefits are also payable to other parties beyond your spouse as well. Divorced spouses, surviving minor or disabled children, and even the parent’s of a worker may be eligible to receive survivor’s benefits provided that their loved one who passed away had sufficient earnings on record.
There are specific criteria to each of these scenarios that must be met in order for benefits to be paid, but the fact is should you be a divorced spouse raising mutual minor children in the event of that child’s parent’s death, you can collect social security benefits in order to help you and your child avoid living in poverty. Should you lose your spouse with minor children still at home to care for, you will not be left destitute and without financial support.
If you are a North Carolina resident who is seeking Social Security survivor’s benefits, you may be uncertain as to where to start regarding your eligibility and the application process. The good news is that you don’t have to go through this process alone. Contact The Clauson Law Firm today to request a case evaluation regarding your eligibility for benefits. The specialists at Clauson Law have years of experience navigating the application and appeals processes for the Social Security Administration, and they can give you a professional and trustworthy opinion regarding whether or not you should pursue survivor’s benefits from the SSA. Call today or visit their website for more information.