When someone that qualifies for social security passes away, you may be wondering what happens to those benefits they were supposed to receive. Oftentimes these benefits, called survivors benefits, go to your spouse, ex-spouse if you were married for over ten years, and your children. In this video, the process behind survivors benefits is broken down for better understanding.
You can elect to receive your social security early, but you will get less than you were supposed to. Those qualifying for survivors benefits will get 100% of what was drawn out by the deceased, but you must be of full retirement age to get the full amount. Spousal benefits can be drawn out as early as age sixty. As soon as you start taking the benefits, however, the amount gets locked in and cannot be changed.
Gender does not discriminate when it comes to survivors benefits. Both a widow and a widower can qualify to receive the benefits from their spouse or ex-spouse. Remember, if you and your ex-spouse were not married for ten full years, you do not qualify to receive their benefits. This is based on the date on your divorce papers, not when you filed or when you separated, so be sure to look at your documents to know If you qualify!