Survivor/widow Benefits

Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 08:25 am
My husband passed away in 2000 and my daughter (13 yrs) is receiving survivor benefits, I called SS office to see if I am eligible (after doing on the online benefit screening tool) and was told because I work that I am not eligible..this confuses me a little because on the form it ask for me to put my monthly income and stated that I may be eligible. Does anyone know the true answer to this question?? The SS rep didnt even ask me what I made each month just stated that since I work I support my daughter and I am ineligible..
Thanks : )
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Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 11:13 am
From the SSA website:

Survivors Benefits

When you die, certain members of your family may be eligible for survivors benefits. These include widows, widowers (and divorced widows and widowers), children and dependent parents.
Who can get survivors benefits based on your work?

Your widow or widower may be able to receive full benefits at full retirement age. The full retirement age for survivors is age 66 for people born in 1945-1956 and will gradually increase to age 67 for people born in 1962 or later. Reduced widow or widower benefits can be received as early as age 60. If your surviving spouse is disabled, benefits can begin as early as age 50.
Your widow or widower can receive benefits at any age if she or he takes care of your child who is receiving Social Security benefits and younger than age 16 or disabled.

Your unmarried children who are younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time) also can receive benefits. Your children can get benefits at any age if they were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled. Under certain circumstances, benefits also can be paid to your stepchildren, grandchildren, stepgrandchildren or adopted children.
How do I apply for benefits?

If you are not currently getting Social Security benefits

You should apply for survivors benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits will be paid from the time you apply and not from the time the worker died.

You can apply by telephone or at any Social Security office. We will need certain information, but do not delay applying if you do not have everything. We will help you get what you need. We need either original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them.

The information we need includes:

Proof of death—either from a funeral home or death certificate;
Your Social Security number, as well as the deceased worker’s;
Your birth certificate;
Your marriage certificate, if you are a widow or widower;
Your divorce papers, if you are applying as a divorced widow or widower;
Dependent children’s Social Security numbers, if available, and birth certificates;
Deceased worker’s W-2 forms or federal self-employment tax return for the most recent year; and
The name of your bank and your account number so your benefits can be deposited directly into your account.
What if I work?

If you work while getting Social Security survivors benefits and are younger than full retirement age, your benefits may be reduced if your earnings exceed certain limits. (The full retirement age was 65 for people born before 1938 but will gradually increase to 67 for people born in 1960 or later.) To find out what the earnings limits are this year and how earnings above those limits reduce your Social Security benefits, ask for How Work Affects Your Benefits (Publication No. 05-10069).

There is no earnings limit beginning with the month you reach full retirement age.

Also, your earnings will reduce only your benefits, not the benefits of other family members.

Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 11:16 am
Social Security
How Work Affects Your Benefits

You can get Social Security retirement or survivors benefits and work at the same time. But, if you are younger than full retirement age and earn more than certain amounts, your benefits will be reduced. It is important to note, though, that these benefit reductions are not truly lost. Your benefit will be increased at your full retirement age to account for benefits withheld due to earlier earnings. (Spouses and survivors who receive benefits because they have minor or disabled children in their care do not receive increased benefits at full retirement age if benefits were withheld because of work.)

NOTE: Different rules apply if you receive Social Security disability benefits or Supplemental Security Income payments. Then you must report all earnings to Social Security. Also, different rules apply if you work outside the United States. Contact us if you are working (or plan to work) outside the country.
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How much can you earn and still get benefits?

If you were born January 2, 1943, through January 1, 1955, then your full retirement age for retirement insurance benefits is 66. If you work and are full retirement age or older, you may keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn. If you are younger than full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn and still receive full Social Security benefits. If you are younger than full retirement age during all of 2011, we must deduct $1 from your benefits for each $2 you earned above $14,160.

If you reach full retirement age during 2011, we must deduct $1 from your benefits for each $3 you earn above $37,680 until the month you reach full retirement age.
Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 12:21 pm
I read all of this online but I am still confused, it sounds like I can work but only make 14160.00, Im assuming this is the figure for people under retirement age, as I am
Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 12:51 pm
The operative word is "may" be eligible.
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Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 03:24 pm
Kw - how old are you?

When you get to retirement age, you can draw either his or your own, whichever one is higher.

Your daughter gets survivors because she is a minor. When she turns 18 that will stop. Start a savings for college with some of what she gets every month.

Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 03:45 pm
im 39, recently had my hours cut so my salary is not what it used to be, a friend told me to research, that i may be eligible because I have a child under the age of 16, no one at SS seems to be real helpful to be honest, Im not getting a straight answer from anyone, after being on the phone for over 30 minutes, several times
Reply Mon 13 Jun, 2011 06:47 pm
It looks like you should be able to get a reduced benefit if you earn more than the limit. Your best bet is to make an appointment with your local Social Security office to find out what you are entitled to and how it will affect future retirement benefits.

In my experience the people you talk to in the call centers are only good for only the simplest of questions.
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Reply Tue 14 Jun, 2011 11:46 am
Go into an SS office. Do NOT rely on anything the call centers tell you. I've had 100% success in an in-office SS meeting.

I've been on SSDI for almost 2 yrs. When I've called in for indo, I've either gotten partial or inaccurate info from call centers. Don't waste any more time with call-centers.
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Reply Fri 17 Jun, 2011 06:46 am
If you are disabled, then you could collect SS.
Until then, you must wait until you are eliblible to collect SS to tap into his. (age 60 or older)

Just google "can widow collect Social security". There are many sources that expain this.

I'm sorry for your loss. Being a widow sucks, being a young widow with children really sucks.
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Reply Wed 30 Jan, 2013 03:40 pm
I was told in May '12, (I am a working surviving spouse with a child <16), that I could draw my spouses benefits (75% of the disability benefits he had been receiving prior to his death). If I recall correctly, this was the answer I received: $1 would be deducted from the check I received for every $2 over $14,640/year that I earned. Well... the 75% that I could draw would be $1319. However, I earn $40,170/year. $40,170 minus the allowed $14,640 = $25,530. So for every $2 over $14,170 ($25,530 divided by 2 = $12,165), $1 would be deducted from my entitlement of $1319 x 12 months ($15,828/yr). Bottom line was, I would be entitled to draw $3,663/yr ---- I would draw zero for the months Jan thru October. And I could draw the $1314/month for the months of November and December.... until my daughter turns 16 and then MY check in Nov and Dec each year would stop but she would continue drawing until she reached 18. That's the least confusing explanation I can write. Smile OH. There is a maxiumum family benefit... so if you have more than 1 child, the % that you are eligible to receive will be less than the 75% of the deceased's monthly benefit.
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Reply Thu 6 Jun, 2013 07:38 pm
Hi Butrflynet,

Can you help me with an answer?

I have been a widow for 13 yrs. I have a daughter who just turned 18 so they removed her check (i understand that one) . I have a 15 yr old son who is still receiving it, but I received a letter today that they will be removing my check when he turned 16. Unless he was disabled or I had another child under 16 i would still get my check. During the 13 yrs i have 2 children who are 11 and 5 but never married the man or I am with him.

Can I still keep my check if I have two children under 16?

The letter states as follows: Your benefit will stop but your child will continue receving benefits to age 18. We may be able to continue your benfit if your child is disabled.

Can you help with answer?
California Mom
Reply Tue 8 Oct, 2013 09:52 pm
If I am understanding your question, you have two additional children, but not by your deceased husband? I can tell you that your check will stop when your deceased husband's last child with you turns 16. The benefits are only for the children of the deceased and the person caring for those children. All the children's birth certificates were turned in when you applied for the survivor benefits. Your son will continue to receive his benefits until he turns 18 or until he graduates high school if it falls after his 18th birthday. The paperwork to extend his benefits for that reason must be submitted 3 months before he turns 18. The form and info link is: http://www.socialsecurity.gov/schoolofficials/ http://www.ssa.gov/online/ssa-1372.pdf
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