Social Security benefits are given to people who are entitled to receive them because they have paid Social Security tax while working. The main two programs that base benefits on your work record are the Social Security disability program and the Social Security retirement program. If you are a family member, such as a spouse or child, of a deceased worker who was receiving disability benefits, you also are entitled to receive Social Security benefits.
Survivor benefits is the Social Security program that pays benefits to the family members of deceased workers. If you have a spouse or a parent who has died, you are entitled to receive Social Security benefits based on his work. As a spouse, you are entitled to receive survivor benefits at full retirement age, which is at age 66 or 67, depending on which year you were born. You may be able to receive benefits as early as age 60, but you receive a reduced amount of benefits. You also can receive benefits at any age if you care for your husband´s child who is disabled and younger than age 16.
Social Security disability is the program that pays benefits to people who have paid their Social Security tax and who have acquired a severe disability or medical condition. If your spouse has become disabled and he has paid Social Security tax, he can apply to receive these benefits even if he has not yet reached retirement age. Whether he receives disability benefits or not, you are entitled to receive Social Security benefits based on his work.
Survivor Benefits Amount
If your husband is receiving disability benefits and he dies before reaching retirement age, you receive survivor benefits once you become eligible. In this case, the amount of benefits you receive is based on the amount of benefits he was receiving at the time he died. In this case, you are entitled to receive an amount equivalent to 100 percent of his basic benefit at the time he died. If you retire before full retirement age (66, or 67 if you were born after 1955), you are entitled to receive 71 to 99 percent of his benefits amount.
Retirement Benefits Amount
If your husband is receiving disability benefits and he reaches retirement age, his benefits become retirement benefits. Whether he dies or not, you are entitled to receive retirement benefits. In this case, however, the amount of benefits you receive is equivalent to 50 percent of your husband's benefit amount.