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If I'm on Social Security benefits and I die, is my family entitled to my benefits?

The answer is yes. Certain family members are eligible to receive the benefits of a deceased Social Security recipient, including:

  • Your widow, if aged 60 or older
  • Your widow who is aged 50 or older and becomes disabled within 7 years of your death
  • Your widow who is caring for your child that is age 16 or younger
  • Your divorced spouse, who has the same eligibility as a widow, provided he or she did not remarry before the age of 50 and the marriage lasted 10 years or longer
  • Your children aged 18 or younger
  • Your disabled child or children as long as their disability began before age 22
  • Your parents, aged 62 or older, if they are dependent upon your for at least half of their support
  • Your stepchildren, grandchildren and adopted children, under certain circumstances 

Each of these qualifying family members will receive a percentage of the monthly Social Security benefits you received before you died. If they are already on Social Security when you die, their benefits may be increased based upon your earnings record.

There may be special circumstances, which affect these rules. If you have any questions, it is based to contact an attorney who specializes in Social Security law.

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