Think of Social Security as Life Insurance Policy
You Didn't Know You Had
Social Security specialists points out many survivors
could be eligible for benefits; also promotes Retirement Estimator
5, 2013 – A surprising number of people may be eligible to receive
Social Security survivors benefits, according to Oscar Garcia, Public
Affair Specialist with the Social Security Administration. He says, in
answer to a question, “Think of your Social Security taxes as a life
insurance policy you never knew you had.” He also has some assurances
about the agency's Retirement Estimator.
Who can receive Social Security survivors
When you die, certain members of your family may be
eligible for monthly survivors benefits. These include widows and
widowers, divorced widows and widowers, and children.
Think of your Social Security taxes as a life
insurance policy you never knew you had. This protection is paid for by
the same taxes that cover you for retirement or disability. The stunning
truth is that one in eight of today’s 20-year-olds will die before
reaching their full retirement age of 67. In fact, 98 of every 100
children could get benefits if a working parent dies.
The average survivors benefit is $1,129 a month.
If you or a family member needs to apply for survivors benefits, you can
schedule an appointment by telephone. Just call us toll-free at
1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
Call during the first or last hour in order to minimize your waiting
To help prepare you, here is the information we
will ask to see. You will need to provide us with proof of death, either
from a funeral home or a death certificate. The funeral home can provide
the necessary proof without waiting for the death certificate to be
We also need your Social Security number, as well
as the deceased worker’s number. If you are a widow or widower we will
need to see your marriage certificate. If you are applying as a
divorced widow or widower, you must present your divorce decree.
We need to see any dependent children’s Social
Security numbers and birth certificates. You should also have the
deceased worker’s W-2 forms or tax return for the most recent year in
the event their earnings are not yet on their work history. To learn
more about survivors benefits, please click on the “Survivors” tab at
Is the Retirement Estimator really secure?
Yes, it is secure. To protect your privacy, only
your benefit estimates are provided online.
The Retirement Estimator does not reveal any
personal information, such as your address, earnings or other
information. The Retirement Estimator gives estimates based on your
actual Social Security earnings record.
Please keep in mind that these are just estimates.
We cannot provide your actual benefit amount until you apply for
benefits. That amount may differ from the estimates provided because
your earnings may increase or decrease in the future. Plus, your benefit
amount may be affected by pensions earned through work on which you did
not pay Social Security taxes. The Retirement Estimator is located at
Oscar Garcia is a Public Affairs Specialist with
the Social Security Administration. You can direct your questions to him
at: SSA, 411 Richland Hills Drive, San Antonio, Texas, 78245. You can
also email him at Oscar.firstname.lastname@example.org.
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