retirement

Survivors get Social Security benefits?

Don TaylorDear Retirement Adviser,
I was separated, but not divorced from my husband, when he passed away. My young daughter is receiving Social Security payments. I am 51 and I have a full-time job. He was collecting Social Security at age 63 when he passed away. When our daughter turns 18, will these benefits end? Will I still get survivors benefits if I stay employed? Thank you,
-- Melissa Mulls

Dear Melissa,
Your daughter will most likely stop receiving Social Security benefits when she turns 18. The two primary exceptions to this are if she is still a full-time elementary or secondary school student, or if she is disabled. Post-secondary or college student status doesn't qualify for the continuation of these benefits.

Since you didn't mention it, I presume neither you nor your daughter is disabled. As a widow caring for a child younger than 16, you are eligible for a survivors benefit, too. This would be true even if you were his surviving divorced widow. If you are working, however, that benefit would be reduced. Since you are below the age of full retirement, the Social Security Administration deducts $1 from your benefit payment for every $2 you earn above the annual earnings limit. In 2013, that earnings ceiling is $15,120.

If you remarry before age 60, you cannot receive benefits as a surviving spouse while you are married. If you remarry after age 60, you will continue to qualify for benefits based upon your deceased spouse's Social Security earnings history.

There are a lot of choices involving benefits if you remarry after age 60. If that's the case, contact your Social Security office to discuss benefit options.

Get more news, money-saving tips and expert advice by signing up for a free Bankrate newsletter.

Ask the adviser

To ask a question of the Retirement Adviser, go to the "Ask the Experts" page and select "Retirement" as the topic. Read more Retirement Adviser columns and more stories about retirement.

Bankrate's content, including the guidance of its advice-and-expert columns and this website, is intended only to assist you with financial decisions. The content is broad in scope and does not consider your personal financial situation. Bankrate recommends that you seek the advice of advisers who are fully aware of your individual circumstances before making any final decisions or implementing any financial strategy. Please remember that your use of this website is governed by Bankrate's Terms of Use.

advertisement

Show Bankrate's community sharing policy
          Connect with us
MORTGAGE HOME EQUITY AUTO CDs CREDIT CARDS
Product Rate Change Last week
30 year fixed, 0 point 4.30%  0.02 4.32%
15 year fixed, 0 point 3.30%  0.02 3.32%
5/1 ARM 3.33%  0.04 3.37%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
30K FICO-based HELOC 4.75% --0.00 4.75%
50K FICO-based HELOC 4.51%  0.01 4.50%
100K FICO-based HELOC 4.24%  0.01 4.23%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
60 month used car loan 2.99%  0.28 2.71%
48 month used car loan 2.91%  0.03 2.88%
60 month new car loan 2.89%  0.09 2.98%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
1 Year CD 0.89%  0.01 0.88%
2 Year CD 1.03% --0.00 1.03%
5 Year CD 1.59%  0.06 1.65%
 
View Rates in your area Search
Product Rate Change Last week
Balance Transfer Cards 15.71%  0.01 15.70%
Cash Back Cards 16.36% --0.00 16.36%
Low Interest Cards 10.91% --0.00 10.91%
 
Search
advertisement
CD & INVESTING NEWSLETTER

Learn the latest trends that will help grow your portfolio, plus tips on investing strategies. Delivered weekly.

Blog

Jennie Phipps

Hiring home caregivers directly

Fewer long-term care insurance policies allow insureds to pay for home care directly, but being able to do this can stretch long-term care dollars.  ... Read more

advertisement
Partner Center
advertisement

Connect with us