Social Security provides survivor benefits to families that have experienced a loss of a family wage earner. Social Security helps those families by providing income for those families. Who can get benefits? A widow or widower may be elgivle to receive full benefits at full retirment age, which is age 55 for pople born in 1945 to 1956 and age 67 for people born in 1962 or later. A widow or widower may receive reduced benefits as early as age 60. If the widow or widower is disabled, benefits can begin as early as age 50. Ultimately, a widow or widower can receiving benefits at any age if s/he takes care of the former wage earner's child who is receiving Social Security benefits and is younger than age 16 or disabled.
Unmarried children of the wage earner can also receive benefits if the child is younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time). Children can get benefits at any age if they were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled. Under certain circumstances, benefits also can be paid to your stepchildren, grandchildren, stepgrandchildren, or adopted children.
The former wage earner's dependent parents can receive benefits if they are age 62 or older.
Some think Social Security is only a retirment program; however, some of the Social Security taxes one pays go toward providing survivors insurance for workers and their families.