How will my spouse’s survivor benefits work?

Generally, if a surviving spouse is over the age of 60, he or she can begin to receive survivor benefits. If the surviving spouse is at full retirement age, his or her benefit is equal to what the deceased’s Social Security benefit was. If the surviving spouse is under full retirement age, the amount of the survivor benefit is reduced.

Important Note: There are a few exceptions where survivor benefits can begin under age 60, including:

• A surviving spouse caring for children under the age of 18 or who has children who are 18-19 years old who are full-time students up to grade 12, subject to family maximums.

• A surviving spouse caring for disabled children 18 years of age or older.

Assuming a full retirement age of 66 and a deceased spouse benefit of $24,000

AGEPERCENTAGE OF SPOUSE’S BENEFITSANNUAL BENEFIT
6071.50%$17,160.00
6176.30%$18,312.00
6281.00%$19,440.00
6385.80%$20,592.00
6490.50%$21,720.00
6595.30%$22,872.00
66100.00%$24,000.00

Assuming a full retirement age of 67 and a deceased spouse benefit of $24,000

AGEPERCENTAGE OF SPOUSE’S BENEFITSANNUAL BENEFIT
6071.50%$17,160.00
6175.60%$18,144.00
6279.60%$19,104.00
6383.70%$20,088.00
6487.80%$21,072.00
6591.90%$22,056.00
6695.90%$23,016.00
67100.00%$24,000.00