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FAQ on Social Security Survivor Benefits

  1. If I receive widow's benefits and remarry, how does this affect my benefits?

        Remarriage will not terminate the benefits of a person already entitled to widow/widower’s benefits. The benefits of a person entitled to mother's or father's benefits (based on having a child in care) will terminate upon remarriage unless he or she marries someone entitled to other types of Social Security benefits.

        Your remarriage would have no effect on the benefits being paid to your children.

  2. Will a child who receives Survivor Benefits lose them after they are adopted?

        No. The adoption of a child already entitled to Survivor Benefits does not terminate the child's benefits.

  3. How can a parent be entitled to Survivor Benefits?

        A parent of a deceased insured person is entitled to Survivor benefits if:

    • The deceased person was fully insured at the time of death  
    • The parent files an application for Survivor Benefits
    • The parent has reached age 62
    • The parent is not entitled to a retirement insurance benefit that is equal to or larger than the amount of the unadjusted Survivor Benefits after any increase to the minimum benefit
    • The parent was receiving at least one-half support from the insured person
    • Evidence that the support requirement was met has been filed with the Social Security Administration within the appropriate time limit
    • The parent has not remarried since the insured person's death and
    • One of the following conditions is met:
    • The parent claimant must be a natural parent in order to be eligible under the law of state of the worker's domicile to share in the interstate personal property of the deceased worker as the worker's father or mother, as the case may be or
    • The parent claimant had legally adopted the insured person before the insured person reached age 16 or
    • The person claiming benefits became the deceased's insured person's step-parent by a marriage entered into before the deceased had reached age 16.

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