My husband died and I applied for Social Security survivors benefits for myself and my two children. When the Social Security representative took my claim she mentioned something about a "family maximum." I don't fully understand what she meant by the family maximum. Would you please explain this to me?
The benefit amount you and your children receive is based on your deceased husband's earnings. The more he paid into Social Security, the greater your benefits will be. However, there is a limit to the amount of money that can be paid each month to a family. The limit is normally referred to as the "family maximum." This limit varies, but it is generally between 150 and 180 percent of the deceased's benefit amount. If the sum of the benefits payable to you and your children is greater than this limit, each of you will receive a benefit amount that is proportionately reduced.