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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2005

    Default Social Security Survivor Benefits and Emancipation

    My father passed away in 2001. My mom and I both started receiving check of 1,134.00 each until July 2005 when I turned 16 then her check stopped but I still received mine. If I was to get emancipated would I still recieve that ( Im still in school ) Thanks Alot!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2005

    Default Emancipated Minor & Social Security Surivivor Benefits

    I asked the Social Security Administration about your situation. They provided this answer, but it isn't particularly helpful:
    Quote Quoting Social Security Administration
    Thank you for your inquiry. When a person dies, certain members of the family may be eligible for survivors' benefits if the deceased worked, paid Social Security taxes, and earned enough credits. The worker's age at the time of death determines the number of credits he or she needs for survivors to be eligible for benefits. The younger a person is the fewer credits are needed to be eligible for survivors' benefits. However, nobody needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work) to be eligible for any Social Security benefits.

    Social Security survivors' benefits can be paid to the following:

    -- A widow or widower - full benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60. A disabled widow or widower may receive benefits as early as age 50.

    -- A widow or widower at any age if he or she takes care of the deceased's child who is under age 16 or is disabled and receives Social Security benefits.

    Generally, a widow or widower may receive Social Security benefits only if he or she was married to the worker for at least nine months. This requirement is intended to prevent payment when a person marries only to get benefits. We realize that such a motive does not exist in most cases but some safeguard seems necessary and nine months seems reasonable.

    The nine-month marriage requirement does not apply if:

    The widow or widower is the natural mother or father of the worker's child or

    The widow or widower or worker during their marriage legally adopted the other's child or they both adopted a child (in both situations, the child must have been under age 18 when adopted), or

    The widow or widower was entitled (or potentially entitled) to certain benefits under Social Security or the Railroad Retirement Act in the month before the month he or she married the worker.

    -- Unmarried children under 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time. A child can receive benefits at any age if he or she was disabled before age 22 and remains disabled. Under certain circumstances, benefits can also be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren, and adopted children.

    -- Dependent parents at 62 or older.

    You may be interested to know that a former spouse can receive benefits under the same circumstances as a widow or widower if the marriage lasted 10 years or more. Benefits paid to a surviving divorced spouse who is age 60 or older will not affect the benefit rates for other survivors receiving benefits.

    Please note that in general, a widow or widower cannot receive benefits if he or she remarries before the age of 60 (50 if disabled) unless the latter marriage ends, whether by death, divorce, or annulment. However, remarriage after age 60 (50 if disabled) will not prevent payments on a former spouse's record.

    A widow's or widower's remarriage would have no effect on the benefits being paid to children. If a widow or widower gets benefits only because he or she is caring for surviving children, the parent's benefits would end at the time of remarriage unless the parent marries someone who is receiving Social Security benefits.

    The amount of the survivors' benefit is based on the earnings of the person who died. The more he or she paid into Social Security, the higher the benefits will be. The amount a survivor receives is a percentage of the deceased's basic Social Security benefit. The following provides the most typical situations:

    -- Widow or widower full retirement age or older - 100 percent.

    -- Widow or widower age 60 to 64 - about 71 - 94 percent.

    -- Widow or widower at any age with a child under age 16 - 75 percent.

    -- Child - 75 percent.

    If a person is receiving widow or widower's benefits, he or she can switch to his or her own retirement benefits (assuming the person is eligible and his or her own retirement rate is higher than the widow or widower's rate) as early as age 62. In many cases, a widow or widower can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate at full retirement age. However, that person will not be paid both benefits; he or she will be paid an amount equal to the higher of the two benefits.

    In addition, a lump-sum death payment of $255 may be paid upon the death of a person who has worked long enough to be insured under the Social Security program. This payment is limited to a spouse who was living with the worker at the time of death or to a spouse or a child who, in the month of death, is eligible for a Social Security benefit based on the worker's record. If no spouse or child meeting these requirements exists, then the lump sum death payment will not be paid.

    For more information, you may call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213, and ask for our publication, "Social Security Survivors Benefits," publication number 05-10084. Our representatives there will be glad to help. If you prefer, you can access it at the following Internet address:

    To file a claim for benefits under the survivors' benefits program, we recommend that individuals contact our toll-free number. Our representatives will schedule an appointment at the nearest Social Security office. Claimants should apply promptly because benefits are generally retroactive only up to six months.

    You can prepare to file an application for survivors' benefits by accessing the "Survivors Planner" at the following Internet address:

    When you apply for survivors' benefits, we may need to see the following

    -- Proof of death-either from funeral home or death certificate;

    -- Your Social Security number, as well as the number of the deceased family member;

    -- Your birth certificate;

    -- Your marriage certificate if you're the widow or widower;

    -- Proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful alien status if you were born outside the United States;

    -- Your divorce papers if you're applying as a surviving divorced spouse;

    -- Dependent children's Social Security numbers, if available;

    -- Deceased worker's most recent W-2 forms or federal self-employment tax return;

    -- The name of your bank and your account number so your benefits can be directly deposited into your account.

    Public records like your birth certificate and marriage or divorce records must be the originals or copies certified by the issuing agency. We can't accept uncertified photocopies. We'll return the documents to you.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits & Emancipation

    My Brother died in a car accident last August and he has a 16 year old daughter, her mother is getting her S.S. check we would like this money to go to her so we were thinking of emmanipation, she will have a place to live (his House) which is owned by our mother. Please let me know the law on this.
    Thanks, Randasue in Washington State.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Behind a Desk

    Default Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits & Emancipation

    The Social Security Administration's unhelpful response is provided above. You can try contacting them for more clarification.

    I would expect that once a minor is no longer a dependent child due to emancipation, the minor would no longer be eligible for benefits extended to dependent children.

    Your goal is to prevent the child's mother from receiving the Social Security funds? If that's really what this is about, consider leaving the widow alone.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2006

    Default Re: Social Security Survivor Benefits & Emancipation

    I'm guessing that this is the relevant part:
    Unmarried children under 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time

    It appears to me that they will receive benefits until they turn 18. The reference to age 19 appears to mean that if they are still in high school past their 18th birthday (as many kids are), then the benefits will continue until age 19.

    I'm not sure where the confusion is.

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