SSA Survivors Benefits To A Parent

Q: Can a parent receive Social Security benefits through the record of his or her child?

A: Years have passed since I was last asked about parent’s benefits. As a Social Security survivors benefit, a parent can receive benefits through the record of their deceased child but this type of benefit is rare. In all my years with Social Security, I have seen few applications for surviving parent’s benefits, in part because a major requirement is that the deceased child had to have been providing at least one-half of the parent’s support.

Other requirements exist, including that the deceased child had worked enough under Social Security to be insured for benefits, the surviving parent must be at least age 62, and the parent cannot be entitled to SSA retirement on their own record equal or higher than the potential survivors benefit.