Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Who can get Survivor benefits

You may be eligible if you’re the spouse, ex-spouse, child, or dependent parent of someone who worked and paid Social Security taxes before they died.

Spouses and ex-spouses

You may be eligible if you: 

  • Are age 60 or older, or age 50–59 if you have a disability, and
  • Were married for at least 9 months before your spouse's death, and
  • Didn’t remarry before age 60 (age 50 if you have a disability).

Ex-spouses who were married for at least 10 years, as well as some valid non-marital legal relationships, may be eligible.

You might be eligible regardless of age and how long you were married. One common example is if you’re caring for a child of the person who died.


Children of someone who died may be eligible if they're unmarried and are:

  • Age 17 and younger, or
  • Ages 18–19 and in school (K–12) full time, or
  • Any age if they developed a disability at age 21 or younger.

Under certain circumstances, we can also pay benefits to married children, stepchildren, adopted children, grandchildren, and stepgrandchildren.

Dependent parents

You might be eligible if you’re age 62 or older and were financially supported by your child who died.