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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 nearly 3.9 million widows and widowers (including divorced former spouses) and about 2 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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