Social Security Dependents Benefits are benefits that are available to the family of a disabled or retired worker. These benefits are paid directly to the family member.
The worker has to be claiming his/her own benefits at the time.
Dependents benefits can be paid to:
- The worker’s spouse, if s/he is age 62 or older
- The worker’s spouse, at any age, if s/he is caring for the worker’s child who is under 16 or disabled and entitled to social security benefits from the worker’s record
- Unmarried children of the worker, if they are under 18
- Unmarried children of the worker who are between 18 and 19 years old but in elementary or secondary school as full-time students
- Unmarried children of the worker who are 18 and older and severely disabled, as long as the disability started before age 22
- An ex-spouse of the worker, as long as the spouse was married to the worker for more than 10 years, the couple was divorced for at least 2 years, the ex-spouse is at least 62 years old, is unmarried, and does not qualify for an equal or higher benefit based upon his/her own work or someone else’s work.
Social Security Survivor’s Benefits are benefits that are available to a worker’s family, after the worker dies. The worker will have had to earn enough work credits or time working for the family to be eligible to receive these benefits.
Survivor’s benefits can be paid to the widow(er), children, dependent parents, or ex-spouse of the deceased worker, if certain criteria are met. If you think that you or a family member may be entitled to survivor’s benefits, you should analyze your situation carefully. Here are the criteria for eligibility; http://ssa.gov/pubs/10084.html
SSI is supplemental security income and is available to certain people who have low income, few resources and are 65 or older; blind; or disabled. Some children with disabilities may be entitled to monthly SSI. Here is a link to a pamphlet regarding SSI for disabled children. http://www.ssa.gov/pubs/10026.html
Many people are not aware of the benefits that may be available to them under the Social Security law. The website http://www.ssa.gov has a variety of information, tools, calculators and forms to help you understand how social security benefits work, calculate your benefits, and apply for them.
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