Can I Get Social Security Benefits for a Spouse After She Dies?

Question

Can I get social security benefits for a deceased spouse?

Answer

You don't say whether you're looking to collect Social Security benefits on behalf of your deceased spouse (benefits that were owed to your spouse) or as a surviving spouse, so we'll address both questions.

If your spouse was eligible for Social Security, you are likely to be eligible for some kind of widow or widower's benefit. If you are 60 years old or older, or if you have children under the age of 16, or if you are over 50 and disabled, you should be eligible for a survivors benefit. Read our article on surviving spouses' benefits for more information.

Or, if your spouse became ill and was unable to work for the last months or years of his or her life because of disability, you could file a disability claim on behalf of your spouse. You have three to six months following your spouse's death to file a claim on his or her behalf. For more information, see our article on filing a Social Security claim after death.

In addition, as a surviving spouse, you are entitled to a $255 death benefit if your spouse was eligible for Social Security. This is meant to help pay for funeral or burial costs.

You might also be eligible for Medicare.

by: , J.D.

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