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How Much Would Your Benefit Be?

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Your survivor benefit amount would be based on the earnings of the person who died. The more he or she paid into Social Security, the higher your benefits would be. The amount you would get is a percentage of the deceased's basic Social Security benefit and depends on your age and the type of benefit you would be eligible to receive.

These are examples of the benefits that survivors may receive:

  • Widow or widower, full retirement age or older -- 100 percent of the deceased worker's benefit amount;
  • Widow or widower, age 60 -- full retirement age -- 71.5 to 99 percent of the deceased worker's basic amount;
  • Disabled widow or widower aged 50 through 59 -- 71½ percent;
  • Widow or widower, any age, caring for a child under age 16 -- 75 percent.
  • A child under age 18 (19 if still in elementary or secondary school) or disabled -- 75 percent.

Percentages for a surviving divorced widow or widower would be the same as above.

There is a maximum amount per month that can be paid to all the survivors on the record. There may also be a special lump-sum death benefit.

NOTE: Although you can use our benefit calculators to see how much your survivors could receive on your record, you cannot use them to calculate your potential benefits on someone else's record. Instead, you would need to contact your local Social Security office or call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, (TTY 1-800-325-0778) to learn how much you could receive on the other record.

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Last reviewed or modified Tuesday Jul 22, 2008
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