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widows social security

During a time of loss, we are thankful for the recognition that "no man is an island" in which as a society, we should not be afraid of the belief that we are all connected in so many ways. Rather, by showing support for each other through our fundamental traits that we all share, we tap into what makes us feel good about our society rather than what makes us fearful. So how does a widow receiving social security help us see our common characteristics? Look all around, the children of many grateful widows may be helping your right now.

Widows social security applies to three types of eligibility requirements, Aged Widow, Child-in-care Widow, and Disabled Widow. Aged Widow means you must be 60 or older to receive your spouse’s benefits. Child-in-care Widow means you have children under 16 years old who are living with you. Disabled Widow is self-explanatory.

Whichever group you belong to, see table below for more details explaining how you can be eligible for  social security benefits.

Table 1.
Comparison of current eligibility requirements and rules that determine monthly survivor benefit amounts, by type of widow benefit

Eligibility and benefit amount determinants

Aged widow

Child-in-care widow

Disabled widow

Eligibility

Basic

Aged 60 or older

Has a child in care who is under age 16 or disabled

Ages 50–59 and disabled

Worker died fully insured

Worker died either fully or currently insured

Worker died fully insured

Marital status (general)

Unmarried, or remarried after age 60

Unmarried

Unmarried, or remarried after age 50 and after onset of disability

If divorced, marriage duration must equal or exceed 10 years

If divorced, marriage does not have to equal or exceed 10 years

If divorced, marriage duration must equal or exceed 10 years

Other factors commonly affecting eligibility

None

None

Disability within 7 years of the worker's death or, if applicable, last receipt of child-in-care benefits

Benefit amounts

Benefit rate (as percent of PIA)

100 percent

75 percent

71.5 percent

Other factors commonly affecting benefit amounts

Reduced if claimed before the FRA (71.5–100 percent of PIA)

Family maximum (150–187.5 percent of PIA)

None

Limited to the higher of the amount the deceased worker would receive if alive, or 82.5 percent of PIA

Earnings test

Increased if the deceased worker earned DRCs

Earnings test

SOURCE: Author, using Social Security Handbook, SSA (2007).

NOTES: Not all eligibility requirements or factors affecting the amount of the monthly benefit are included in the table. Requirements for insured status are complex, but fully insured status can require 40 quarters of covered work, and currently insured status can require 6 quarters of work in the 13 quarters before death. The PIA, sometimes referred to as the basic benefit amount, is based on an average of the deceased worker's earnings in Social Security–covered employment. The FRA is 66 for widows born from 1945 through 1956 and workers born from 1943 through 1954 .


Table above is from this government site. The article also explains how the monthly benefit amounts are calculated based on your spouse’s earnings.


social security site

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