Social Security Survivors Insurance


Social Security helps survivors by providing income for the families of workers who die.

General information about this opportunity
Last Known Status
Program Number
Federal Agency/Office
Social Security Administration
Type(s) of Assistance Offered
C - Direct Payments For Specified Use; D - Direct Payments With Unrestricted Use
Program Accomplishments
Not applicable.
Social Security Act of 1935, Title II, as amended, Title II, 42 U.S.C. 401-433
Survivor spouses, widows (er), and children can be entitled to benefits on the earnings record of an insured person who has died if you: • meet the relationship requirement; • are dependent on the worker who worked enough and earned credits to become insured; • are unmarried; • Meet the age requirement (survivor spouse (age 62 and older), widow (age 60 and older), and child under age 18 years old); and • Filed an application.
Who is eligible to apply/benefit from this assistance?
Applicant Eligibility
Survivor family members.
Beneficiary Eligibility
Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses age 60 or over are entitled as long as the worker met the insurance requirements. Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses also qualify at any age if they have entitled children of the worker under age 16 or disabled children in their care; unmarried children: under age 18, under age 19 and a full-time student in elementary or secondary school or age 18 or older and under a disability which began before age 22; and dependent parents age 62 and over. To claim benefits as disabled widows, widowers, or surviving divorced spouses, individuals ages 50-59 must show that they have a disability that started no later than 7 years after the insured died or 7 years after certain other events. "Disability" currently has the same meaning for these entitlements as it does for workers who claim disability insurance (see 96.001). As in worker disability claims, there is also a 5-month waiting period after the disability began before benefits begin and entitlement to Medicare after 24 months of entitlement to benefits. Children of the worker claiming benefits because of disability are also subject to the definition of disability used for workers and must show that they have been disabled since before they reached age 22. There is no waiting period for these benefits.
Individuals filing for their children or as a spouse as survivors under the worker's record must provide proofs of age, dependency, support, and relationship. Applicants must also provide proof of death for the worker. All individuals filing for benefits must have a valid Social Security Number (SSN). Non-US citizens must provide proof of lawful alien status to be eligible to Social Security payments.
What is the process for applying and being award this assistance?
Pre-Application Procedure
Preapplication coordination is not applicable.
Application Procedure
2 CFR 200, Uniform Administrative Requirements, Cost Principles, and Audit Requirements for Federal Awards applies to this program. Call toll free at 1 (800) 772-1213 or telephone or visit the local Social Security Office. Individuals meeting the eligibility requirements can file an application at the local SSA office. Once an individual provides the required evidence or proof, an SSA employee will process the application and award benefits. Benefits are paid monthly and for a month on the past. A benefit due for January is paid on February as long as the survivor individual was alive for the full month of January.
Award Procedure
After review of the application is completed, the applicant (or representative payee) will be notified by mail. Once an individual provides the required evidence or proof, an SSA employee will process the application and award benefits. SSA mails a notice to the beneficiary to notify them of the award.
January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017 You must contact your local SSA Field Office (FO) for application deadlines. Generally, an individual has up to 6 months to file an application for monthly benefits. The 6-month period starts from the date the individual contacts SSA to inform of their intent to file for benefits and SSA sends a notification of the 6-month period. Individuals filing for the one-time Lump-Sum Death Payment (LSDP) must file an application within two years of the death of the worker.
Approval/Disapproval Decision Time
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
How are proposals selected?
Not applicable.
How may assistance be used?
Monthly cash benefits are paid to eligible family members of deceased workers. There are no restrictions on the use of benefits, although the right to future benefits is not transferable or assignable. The Federal government gives the States funds, in advance or by way of reimbursement, for necessary costs in making disability determinations under 20 CFR part 404 subparts P and Q. Necessary costs are direct as well as indirect costs as defined in 41 CFR Part 1-15, Subpart 1-15.7 of the Federal Procurement Regulations System for costs incurred before April 1, 1984; and 48 CFR 31, Subpart 31.6 of the Federal Acquisition Regulations System and Federal Management Circular A-74-4 as amended or superseded for costs incurred after March 31, 1984.
What are the requirements after being awarded this opportunity?
Not applicable.
Not applicable.
Other Assistance Considerations
Formula and Matching Requirements
Statutory formula is not applicable to this assistance listing.

Matching requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.

MOE requirements are not applicable to this assistance listing.
Length and Time Phasing of Assistance
Not applicable See local office.
Who do I contact about this opportunity?
Regional or Local Office
Consult Appendix IV of the Catalog.
Headquarters Office
Room 4100, Annex, Social Security Administration
Baltimore , MD 21235 US
Phone: 1-800-772-1213
Website Address
Financial Information
Account Identification
(Direct Payments with Unrestricted Use) FY 22$96,693,118,761.00; FY 23 est $102,049,000,000.00; FY 24 est $107,093,000,000.00; -
Range and Average of Financial Assistance
Not applicable/available.
Regulations, Guidelines and Literature
Not applicable.
Examples of Funded Projects
Not applicable.