By Vonda Vantil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist
Social Security is here with information, tools, and benefits to help you secure today and tomorrow. Our journey together begins when you’re born and get your Social Security card. It continues when you get your first job and follows you through your entire career, marriage, and retirement. Our commitment is to be with you throughout life’s journey.
Our promise extends to surviving family members when a worker dies.
Some of the Social Security taxes you pay go toward survivors benefits for your family. In the event of your death, certain members of your family may be eligible for survivors benefits; these include widows and widowers, divorced widows and widowers, children, and dependent parents.
The amount of benefits your survivors receive depends on your lifetime earnings. The higher your earnings are, the higher their benefits will be. The value of your survivors benefit may be more than the value of your individual life insurance.
By making sure your earnings are posting correctly, you are passing down protections to your survivors, just as your parents did before you. You can do this by:
Creating a personal my Social Security account at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. Your personal my Social Security account is secure and gives you immediate access to your earnings records, Social Security benefit estimates, and a printable Social Security Statement.
Visiting our Benefits Planner for Survivors to help you better understand your and your family’s Social Security protection as you plan for your financial future at www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/survivors.
Checking your Social Security Statement to see an estimate of survivors benefits we could pay your family at www.socialsecurity.gov/myaccount. It also shows an estimate of your retirement and disability benefits and provides other important information.
For more information, please visit www.socialsecurity.gov or read our publication Survivors Benefits at www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/EN-05-10084.pdf. You can also help us spread the word by sharing this information with your family and friends.
Vonda Van Til is the Public Affairs Specialist for West Michigan. You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.