The most important thing to understand about Social Security survivor benefits is that you’ll need to file for those benefits within six months of the event. It’s even suggested you file within the month because the Social Security survivor benefits begin from the time you apply.
Widows and widowers receive the majority of survivor benefits.
Depending on your circumstances (age, employment, and your own Social Security benefits), you might not need to file for Social Security survivor benefits at all. You will still need to report your spouse’s death to the Social Security Administration. Or you may decide to apply for survivor’s benefits now and switch to your own benefits at a later date.
However, there are other instances where you might be eligible for survivor benefits. According to the Social Security Administration, this includes a surviving divorced spouse under certain circumstances, a minor or disabled child, and a parent age 62 or older who was dependent on the deceased family member.
It can be difficult to make such decisions when you’re grieving, especially if your loved one typically handled your finances. Our retirement planners can help. We’ll walk you through the choices you have regarding your Social Security Survivor benefits, help you to navigate the financial challenges of losing a loved one, and help put you on the path to financial peace of mind.