How Long Do You Get Survivor Benefits (And Why)?

How Long Do You Get Survivor Benefits (And Why)?

Exact Answer: For Life

A good government looks after the well-being of all the citizens equally. That means providing equal benefits to all despite caste, race, or gender. It is necessary as not every person is wealthy enough or not everyone gets equal pay. 

However, the basic expenses remain the same. Many people find it hard to be financially independent daily. Some face this due to unemployment, or some face such financial problems when the earning member dies. In such cases, help to the needy should always be the priority. 

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How Long Do You Get Survivor Benefits?

Uncertainties are everywhere. One might never know when they will lose financial support. It could be due to multiple factors. To aid the people in these difficult situations, the government has sanctioned the Social Security Benefits. Many can benefit from this under various circumstances.

People die at some point, but after them, their family faces loss. These losses are both emotional and financial. To help in such situations, the government has provided the solution by giving survivor benefits. The survivor benefits get dispersed to the beneficiary. The beneficiary is spouse or ex-spouse.

However, because one of the spouses dies, it does not mean that the survivor will get benefits. Certain conditions should be clear in proceeding with dispersing the benefit amount. If all things are as per the law, the survivor will receive benefits for the rest of their life.

The conditions under which the survivor benefits are payable are as below:

  • The benefits will get provided if the spouse was married to the deceased for at least nine months when the death happened.
  • The survivor has to be the age of 60 years when the incident occurred. In case if the survivor is disabled, the age timeline moves down to 50 years.
  • The most important criterion is that the survivor shouldn’t have remarried after the death of their spouse.

The survivor benefits get provided to parents or children depending upon who the beneficiaries are. 

ConditionBenefits Provided
The spouse claiming survivor benefitFull survivor benefit
The spouse claiming retirement benefitWhichever amount is higher between survivor benefit and retirement benefit.

Why Do You Get Survivor Benefits For That Long?

Survivor benefit proves to be helpful for the dependants of the deceased. Nobody can compensate for the emotional loss that a person feels when a family member passes away. However, they can get assisted so that they can cope with the financial loss.

Survivor benefit can be for any person who was dependent monetarily on the deceased, it can be the spouse, or it can be parents and even children if they are below 18 years of age.

The benefits for spouses start coming in when the person reaches an age where they can longer earn for themselves and have no other person they can depend on. In the case of a healthy survivor, the age limit when the benefits start coming in is 60 years.

Whereas if the survivor has a disability, whether partial or permanent, can avail of benefits from the age of 50. However, the benefits start only when the survivor clears all the listed conditions. Any violations lead to the cancellation of the benefits.

The benefit will get provided as long as the survivor is alive. They must get that till they die. The primary reason is that they have no scope of income as they have retired, and there are no firms or companies that will employ them.

The other reason is they have lost the person they were financially dependent on, and now they will not be able to take care of the daily expenses on their own. Hence, the survivor benefit gets provided to the survivor till the time they die.


It is an initiative by the government to help those who cannot depend on anyone once they lose someone. However, these benefits will not get provided to the person who is claiming the retirement benefits. That clause is applicable if the amount of the retirement benefit is more than the survivor benefit.

As per the law, if any person collects two social security benefits, they can get the one that has a high payable amount.


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Hi! I'm Nidhi.

Here at the EHL, it's all about delicious, easy recipes for casual entertaining. So come and join me at the beach, relax and enjoy the food.

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