Social Security Benefits

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Social Security Benefits

Eligibility for Social Security

Eligibility for Social Security survivor benefits is contingent upon the deceased worker's work credits, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years based on their age at the time of death. Monthly benefits are available to:

- Widows or widowers aged 60 or older (50 if disabled) or at any age if caring for an entitled child under 16 or disabled.
- Divorced widows or widowers aged 60 or older (50 if disabled), provided the marriage lasted at least 10 years or if caring for an entitled child under 16 or disabled.
- Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if full-time students in primary or secondary school).
- Children disabled before turning 22, as long as the disability persists.
- Dependent parent or parents aged 62 or older.

In addition to monthly benefits, a lump-sum death payment of $255 is available. The order of payment priority includes the surviving spouse living in the same household, a surviving spouse eligible for benefits at the time of death, and eligible children for the month of death.

To access these benefits, an application is necessary and can be completed at any Social Security office, through phone (1-800-772-1213), or online.

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