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The Social Security Administration provides four types of Social Security benefits: retirement, disability, dependents, and survivor benefits. Survivor benefits are available to the children and spouses of deceased individuals who qualify.

If you qualify for retirement or disability benefits, your spouse and children have the right to obtain survivor benefits when you pass away. You also have a right to receive survivor benefits upon your spouse’s death if your spouse is qualified for Social Security benefits.

Requirements for Survivor Benefits

For your spouse and children to get survivor benefits upon your death, you and your family must meet specific requirements:

  • You must be qualified for Social Security retirement or disability benefits. Older adults must have worked long enough — in many cases, at least 10 years — to earn 40 credits. Workers can earn up to four credits each year, depending on their income.
  • However, people who die young may need fewer credits for their spouse and children to acquire survivor benefits. In some cases, spouses and children of workers with