A Survivors Benefits package, or Survivors Insurance, is income given to the spouse and/or children of a family wage earner by the Social Security Administration (SSA). This benefits package helps to supplement the income of families of the deceased through Social Security taxes.
If the deceased has paid Social Security taxes, and has worked a certain amount of years, depending on how old he or she was at time of death, a proportionate amount will be paid to the deceased’s family. The amount of the survivors benefits package is directly proportionate to the amount of Social Security taxes paid over time and the lifetime earnings of the deceased. The more the deceased earned, the larger the benefits package will be for the family.
Survivors Insurance is available through the Social Security Administration. It is similar to life insurance supplied by private insurance companiesSurvivors insurance can also be applied for by the spouse (married or divorced, widow or widower) of the deceased. The benefits package will be based on the deceased’s lifetime earnings, Social Security taxes and their age at time of death.
If the survivor is a widow or widower at retirement age or older, he or she will receive 100 percent of the deceased’s benefits package amount. If the survivor is a widow or widower between the ages of 60 and retirement age, he or she can receive anywhere from 71 percent to 99 percent of the Survivors Benefits package of the deceased.
Children of the deceased, regardless of age, automatically receive 75 percent of the Survivors Benefits package of the decedent. The maximum of benefits that a survivor can receive is anywhere between 150 percent and 180 percent of the Survivors Benefits package.
The amount of the Survivors Benefits package may be affected if the survivor is still working. However much the survivor has earned, if exceeding certain limitations, may reduce the amount paid by the Social Security Administration. This limit becomes null and void during the month the survivor reaches retirement age. The earnings of the survivor will only reduce the amount received by that individual survivor, not additional survivors.