How Are Survivor Benefits Calculated?

How Are Survivor Benefits Calculated?

The Social Security Administration calculates a survivor benefit amount based on the age of the survivor and the type of benefit for which the survivor is eligible. For example, a widow or widower reaching full retirement age receives 100 percent of the deceased worker’s basic Social Security benefit amount.

For some people, the Social Security survivor benefit is a percentage of the basic Social Security benefit amount for the deceased worker. For example, a 60-year-old widow or widower might receive 71.5 to 99 percent of the deceased worker’s basic Social Security benefit. Disabled survivors ages 50 through 59 receive 71.5 percent, while a survivor caring for a child under the age of 16 receives 75 percent of the deceased worker’s benefit, as of 2015.