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
2020 Trustees Report.
Choose the type of estimates (summary or detailed) from
the list of provisions.
||Table and graph selection
Beginning in 2021, continue benefits for children of disabled or deceased
workers until age 22 if the child is in high school, college or vocational
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 2021, until the percent reaches 33 in 2037.
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 2022 and those
becoming eligible after 2022.
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 2022 and those becoming
eligible after 2022.
Limit the spousal benefit to that received by the spouse of the 75th
percentile career-average worker, beginning with retired workers newly
eligible in 2027. 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.
For spouses and children of retired and disabled workers becoming newly
eligible beginning in 2027 and phased in for 2027 through 2036, limit
their auxiliary benefit to one-half of the PIA for a hypothetical worker
with earnings equal to the national average wage index (AWI) each year.
Beginning in January 2023, require full time school enrollment as
a condition of eligibility for child benefits at age 15 up to 18.
Beginning in 2021, continue benefits for children of disabled, retired,
or deceased workers until age 26 if the child is in high school, college
or vocational school.