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Social Security Survivor's Benefits
Old 02-15-2020, 08:37 PM   #1
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Social Security Survivor's Benefits

My niece is 39 years old and her husband passed away last year. She has a 12 year old daughter. She was told by Social Security that she is not eligible for benefits since she is under 60 years old, but that her daughter is eligible.

However, I just read this on Investipedia:
"As noted above, a widow or widower doesn't qualify for their own benefits until age 60. However, that spouse (regardless of age) can collect payouts as the caregiver for the deceased's children until they turn 16. The kids themselves qualify for benefits (paid to the surviving parent) until they turn 18 (or 19 if they are still in school). "

Does this mean that because she is her daughter's caregiver she can collect survivors benefits from Social Security, as well as her daughter also being able to collect them?
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:51 PM   #2
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The way I interpret that is the parent receives the child's benefit until 16. Then the child gets it directly from 16 until 18.
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Old 02-15-2020, 08:58 PM   #3
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The way I interpret that is the parent receives the child's benefit until 16. Then the child gets it directly from 16 until 18.
Thanks, that is what I thought but the quote was kind of confusing.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:08 PM   #4
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Look up Motherís benefits. She should be eligible (although depending on how much she earns from work she may not be payable) for motherís benefits based on the fact her husband died, and she has in her care his child who is under 16.

The child would get benefits from dads death through 18 (student/DAC benefits etc) and mom should be eligible until child is 16 (unless the child is disabled at age 16 onward.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:28 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by SheitlQueen View Post
My niece is 39 years old and her husband passed away last year. She has a 12 year old daughter. She was told by Social Security that she is not eligible for benefits since she is under 60 years old, but that her daughter is eligible.

However, I just read this on Investipedia:
"As noted above, a widow or widower doesn't qualify for their own benefits until age 60. However, that spouse (regardless of age) can collect payouts as the caregiver for the deceased's children until they turn 16. The kids themselves qualify for benefits (paid to the surviving parent) until they turn 18 (or 19 if they are still in school). "

Does this mean that because she is her daughter's caregiver she can collect survivors benefits from Social Security, as well as her daughter also being able to collect them?
Investopedia has it right, but not quite complete. Go to SocialSecurity.gov for how this works. Can get your own statement online which shows how survivor's benefits work.

Writing from memory having been through it with my 2 kids:
A Minor survivor is entitled to benefits under the deceased's earnings record until they are 18, 19 if still in HS. A caregiver of that minor may also be entitled to payments until that child is 16. There is a cap on total benefits payable to the surviving household unit (based on the earnings record). In my experience, it is better to have them paid for the benefit of the minor rather than the caregiver.

There will be a "representative payee" (likely your niece) who receives the funds on behalf of her daughter.

Your niece will need to make an appointment to file for survivor's benefits on behalf her daughter. I found it to be a quick process, less than 45 days to start receiving payments, IIRC.

Been through all this. My oldest aged out, but the amount she was formerly paid is now paid direct to me. That will continue until the youngest is 16. I was unmarried when I hit 60, and now eligible for a widow's benefit.
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Old 02-15-2020, 09:29 PM   #6
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Look up Motherís benefits. She should be eligible (although depending on how much she earns from work she may not be payable) for motherís benefits based on the fact her husband died, and she has in her care his child who is under 16.

The child would get benefits from dads death through 18 (student/DAC benefits etc) and mom should be eligible until child is 16 (unless the child is disabled at age 16 onward.
So Mom can get her own benefit until the child is age 16, and the child would also get a separate benefit at the same time, but would continue until age 18 where as Mom would lose hers when child turns 16?
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Old 02-15-2020, 10:19 PM   #7
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Correct. But if mom works and has wages or self employment profit greater than $18,240 she may not be payable for every single month.

Regardless she should file an application and ask the claims specialist to see if her motherís benefit protective filing was properly closed out. If they did not issue/mail her a close out letter, she probably could file and go back to the month her husband died
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Old 02-16-2020, 09:11 AM   #8
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Correct. But if mom works and has wages or self employment profit greater than $18,240 she may not be payable for every single month.

Regardless she should file an application and ask the claims specialist to see if her motherís benefit protective filing was properly closed out. If they did not issue/mail her a close out letter, she probably could file and go back to the month her husband died
Thanks, they told her she could not claim for herself because she is only 39, but that she could claim for her daughter. Wasn't sure if that was correct since I have also been given incorrect information from SS before. She does work and she does exceed $18,240.
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Old 02-16-2020, 05:57 PM   #9
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Make an appointment with SS. Sit down with a person. And go over the rules/benefits.

Do not just drop by. Get a number. Then go to a window.

Service much better, when you go to back room, quiet, when you have an appt.

Had sort of similar situation. Young children under 18, When I collect SS at 62.
Children eligible for benefits, till finish high school.
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