When planning for what might happen if you pass away, you might be concerned about whether you have enough saved to make sure that your family will be taken care of. Your social security benefits that you have paid into your whole life may go to your surviving spouse, but only after he or she has reached a certain age. However, there are some exceptions. Knowing when your spouse will receive your social security benefits will help you plan for after your life.
Social security survivor's insurance exists because the loss of a spouse can be devastating both emotionally and financially. Also, there are many couples that have built their lives around a two-income household. For those spouses who choose to stay home, they are all the more harmed by the loss of their spouse. While social security is often seen as a retirement benefit, it often functions more as a benefit to your surviving spouse.
Typically, Your Spouse Can Receive Benefits at 60
Your widow or widower can receive benefits as early as 60, though these benefits are reduced. A widow or widower can also receive full benefits at the retirement age. Your survivor can collect benefits at 50 if you are disabled. Also, if your survivor is caring for your children and they are under 16, your survivor will receive social security benefits immediately. Unlike receiving your own social security benefits, if your widow seeks out social security benefits, he or she can only apply for them by requesting an appointment and cannot apply for them online.
Your Spouse Immediately Receives a Death Benefit
Your spouse may also be entitled to a single death benefit. As of 2015, this benefit is worth $255. Also, your spouse will need to apply for this benefit within two years of your death. While the benefit may seem small, it can provide some assistance during a difficult time.
While Your Ex Receives Benefits, This Won't Affect Your Current Spouse
Benefits go not only to those spouses whom you were married to but also to those whom you divorced, but were married to for 10 years or longer. Also, if your ex is caring for your children, he or she will not have to have been married to you for 10 years. Fortunately, while they will receive benefits, your other survivors won't face reduced benefits. Therefore, if you are a former divorcee, you won't have to budget for the future when considering that an ex will receive benefits.
For more information, speak with experts like Scott McNutt Attorney At Law.