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A family plans for all its dependents, including benefits for spouses and children

Social Security is much more than a program that’s sole function is concerned with retirement. Social Security can also be a spousal benefit plan and an insurance plan for dependents. AARP's Social Security Question and Answer Tool can assist with practical, comprehensive information about how, in cases of death or divorce, spouses, ex-spouses and families could be eligible to receive benefits based on your earnings. Understand the ways Social Security can adapt to the ever-changing needs of American families, economically and structurally.

 

 

 

Children

 

Q: Can children who have collected survivor benefits during their grade school years continue to receive the money while in college?

A: Social Security will usually only pay benefits for eligible children until age 18. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Can my children get Social Security benefits based on my work record?

A: An eligible dependent and/or child may be able to receive a portion of your retirement benefits when you claim. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: What are rules for parents to collect benefits on their children's record?

A: A dependent parent may be eligible for survivor benefits. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Who is responsible for handling Social Security benefits paid to a minor?

A: If a Social Security beneficiary cannot manage their own money, a representative payee is appointed. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

Divorce

 

Q: How can I find out what benefits I would receive if I draw Social Security on my ex-spouse's word record?

A: To find out how much you can collect on a divorced spouse's record, contact the SSA. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: How can I tell if my former spouse is collecting a benefit on my Social Security record? If they are, will it affect me when I retire at 65?

A: You can contact the Social Security Administration to find out if an ex-spouse has filed a claim on your record. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: How do divorced spouse benefits work?

A: Divorced spouse benefits are based on an ex-spouse's work record, very similar to those of a married couple. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

Remarriage

 

Q: Does a widow(er) lose benefits if they remarry?

A: The age at the time of remarriage will determine if you can collect survivor benefits. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: If my former spouse remarried and later dies, who is eligible for his Social Security benefits?

A: Both a current and former spouse can collect on a person's record at the same time. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

 

 

Spouse

 

Q: As long as I am 62 or older and have claimed Social Security, can my spouse claim spouse benefits at any time?

A: A spouse must be at least 62 to claim benefits. But by filing for early retirement, the benefit will be permanently reduced. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Can I receive my spouse benefit at 62, and continue to delay my own benefit? I would like to hold off taking my own benefit so that it will be higher when I do take it.

A: If you retire early and your own benefit is greater than your spousal benefit, you will be unable to receive the spousal benefit first. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Does my spouse have to file for Social Security benefits in order for me to receive a spouse benefit?

A: Your spouse must claim benefits in order for you to get a benefit on their record. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: My spouse and I both worked. How can we use the claim and suspend strategy to maximize our benefits?

A: The file and suspend strategy allows couples to collect a spousal benefit while earning delayed retirement credits. — Read Full Answer

 

 

 

Survivor

 

Q: After my mother died, I found uncashed Social Security checks that had been issued to her. Can we cash them?

A: Federal law requires that Social Security checks not cashed or deposited after one year of the date of issue, void. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Are survivor benefits decreased if claimed early?

A: Survivor benefits, if filed at full retirement age, are worth 100% of what the deceased worker was entitled to collect. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: Are survivor benefits reduced for a Postal Service employee's survivor?

A: Survivor benefits will not be reduced if you are receiving a government pension that is not based on your earnings. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: I am receiving survivor benefits on the record of my deceased husband. Can I receive spousal benefits from the record of my ex-husband instead? I think they would be higher.

A: If you are remarried, and the second marriage ends, you will again be eligible for benefits on your first spouse's record. — Read Full Answer

 

Q: If a Social Security beneficiary dies in the middle of the month, are his or her survivors required to return a portion of the payment?

A: Since benefits are paid a month behind (e.g. the benefit for January is paid in February), any payment received during the month of death is payable and does not have to be returned. — Read Full Answer

 

 

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