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
2017 Trustees Report.
Choose the type of estimates (summary or detailed) from
the list of provisions.
||Table and graph selection
Beginning in 2018, 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 2018, until the percent reaches 33 in 2034.
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 2019 and those becoming eligible
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 2019 and those becoming eligible after 2019.
Limit the spousal benefit to that received by the spouse of the 75th percentile
career-average worker, beginning with retired workers newly eligible in 2024.
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 2024 and phased in for 2024 through 2033, 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 2020, require full time school enrollment as a condition of
eligibility for child benefits at age 15 up to 18.