Who is eligible to receive Social Security benefits when a person dies?

Survivors who may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits include:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled)
  • A widow or widower at any age who is caring for the deceased’s child under age 16 or disabled
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or Age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22
  • A stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild or adopted child under certain circumstances
  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support
  • A surviving divorced spouse (under certain circumstances)