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Provisions Affecting Family Member Benefits

These provisions modify the specific benefit amounts received by widow(er)s, spouses, and/or children based on a worker's Social Security account. We provide a summary list of all options (printer-friendly PDF version) in this category. For each provision listed below, we provide an estimate of the financial effect on the OASDI program over the long-range period (the next 75 years) and for the 75th year. In addition, we provide graphs and detailed single year tables. We base all estimates on the intermediate assumptions described in the 2016 Trustees Report.

Choose the type of estimates (summary or detailed) from the list of provisions.

Number Table and graph selection
D1 Beginning in 2017, continue benefits for children of disabled or deceased workers until age 22 if the child is in high school, college or vocational school.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing this or a similar provision:
D2 The current spouse benefit is based on 50 percent of the PIA of the other spouse. Reduce this percent each year by 1 percentage point beginning with newly eligible spouses in 2017, until the percent reaches 33 in 2033.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing this or a similar provision:
D3 Allow divorced aged spouses and divorced surviving spouses married 5 to 9 years to get benefits based on the former spouse's account. Divorced aged and surviving spouses would receive 50% of the applicable current-law PIA percentage if married 5 years, 60% of the applicable PIA percentage if married 6 years, ..., 90% of the applicable PIA percentage if married 9 years. This benefit would be available to divorced spouses on the rolls at the beginning of 2018 and those becoming eligible after 2018.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing this or a similar provision:
D4 Establish an alternative benefit for a surviving spouse. For the surviving spouse, the alternative benefit would equal 75 percent of the sum of the survivor's own worker benefit and the deceased worker's PIA (including any actuarial reductions or delayed retirement credits). If the deceased worker died before becoming entitled, use the age 62 actuarial reduction if deceased before age 62, or the applicable actuarial reduction/DRC for entitlement at the age of death if deceased after 62. The alternative benefit would not exceed the PIA of a hypothetical earner who earns the SSA average wage index (AWI) every year, and who becomes eligible for retired-worker benefits in the same year in which the deceased worker became entitled to worker benefits or died (if before entitlement). The alternative benefit would be paid only if more than the current-law benefit. This benefit would be available to surviving spouses on the rolls at the beginning of 2018 and those becoming eligible after 2018.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing this or a similar provision:
D5 Limit the spousal benefit to that received by the spouse of the 75th percentile career-average worker, beginning with retired workers newly eligible in 2023. For future cohorts, this limit would be indexed for inflation annually using chain weighted CPI-U. The provision affects divorced spouses and young spouses (retired workers) but not spouses of disabled workers.
Summary measures and graphs   (PDF version)
Detailed single year tables   (PDF version)
Memorandum containing this or a similar provision:

Above provisions
Summary measures
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Last reviewed or modified October 12, 2016