Life Insurance and Your Social Security BenefitsLife Insurance and Your Social Security Benefits

By taking into account your Social Security benefits, the amount of life insurance you actually need is reduced. Social Security legislation may change over the years, but at the time of this publication, surviving family members of the deceased may receive the following benefits.

  • A surviving spouse can collect:

• The deceased’s full monthly Social Security benefit beginning at age 65 to 67, depending on her or his year of birth.

• A permanently reduced monthly benefit as early as age 62. The benefit is reduced permanently because of the earlier age compared to the full benefit age listed in the bullet above.

  • A surviving spouse caring for a child who also receives Social Security benefits can collect the deceased’s full monthly Social Security benefits at any age until the child reaches age 16.
  • A disabled widow or widower can collect benefits as early as age 50, or at any age if a child under the age of 16 lives at home. Those benefits are in addition to the benefits children themselves receive.
  • Unmarried children may collect benefits if they are:
         • under age 18
         • under 19, but still in school
         • over 18, but severely disabled and the disability occurred before age 22.
  • Social Security may also pay a small death benefit to the surviving spouse or children.

For more information on life insurance and your Social Security Benefits, contact the Social Security Administration:
Call 1-800-772-1213 (Voice) or 1-800-325-0778 (TTY)
Visit and search on “Survivors Benefits Publication 05-10084”
Social Security Administration
Office of Public Inquiries
Windsor Park Building
6401 Security Blvd.
Baltimore, MD 21235



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