Q) Hi. I’m asking a question for my grandmother. My grandfather was diagnosed with stage 4 esophageal cancer and has less than a year expected. Both of them are on Social Security as well as still working part time. My grandmas social security is less than my grandfathers and is worried that when he passes she will have to live on her very meager social security alone. Is that the case or when a spouse passes do the living spouse receive any of their benefit? Please clarify how that works so we can ease her mind. Thank you!
A) According to social security administration: When you die, members of your family could be eligible for benefits based on your earnings. You and your children also may be able to get benefits if your deceased spouse or former spouse worked long enough under Social Security.
Who can get survivors benefits?
Widows and Widowers
A widow or widower can receive benefits
at age 60 or older.
at age 50 or older if disabled.
at any age if she or he takes care of a child of the deceased who is younger than age 16 or disabled.