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Social Security Survivors Skip to content

Find answers to your Social Security questions in the AARP Social Security resource center.

Social Security Resource Center



En español | Social Security is not just a guaranteed income for retired workers; it's also a form of insurance for families when those workers die. Today, Social Security pays monthly survivor benefits to more than 4 million widows and widowers (including divorced former spouses) and nearly 1.9 million children of deceased wage earners.

In the AARP Social Security Resource Center, you’ll find practical information about how Social Security works when a worker dies, including:

  • Steps to take to report a death and begin collecting survivor benefits
  • How Social Security determines eligibility and calculates payments
  • How age and marital status affect what you collect







Children & Family



Spouses & Ex-Spouses






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Didn't find the answer to your Social Security question?  Submit your question here.




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