Program Description

The Social Security Parent’s Benefits are a federally funded program managed by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). These are benefits paid to the dependent parent of a deceased worker who had earned enough Social Security credits.

General Program Requirements

In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be at least age 62
  • Have not married after the deceased worker's death (unless an exception applies)
  • Received at least one-half of your support from the deceased worker at certain points in time
  • You are the parent and would be eligible to share in the intestate personal property of the worker
  • You legally adopted the insured worker before he or she turned 16; or
  • You became the deceased's stepparent by a marriage entered into before the deceased turned 16.
    Not be entitled to retirement insurance benefit equal to or exceeding the amount of the parent's original benefit.
  • Filed proof of support within the required time limits.

If you would like to find out if you may be eligible for any of the benefits SSA administers, take SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

Once you have completed the eligibility screening questionnaire, you will be provided with a list of benefits for which you may be eligible. Print this page for your records before going to the application site.

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

Application Process

You cannot apply online for survivor’s benefits. For application information, please visit the How To Apply page.

Program Contact Information

Visit SSA’s Publications home page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

Or for additional information on this and any SSA benefit, call:
1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)

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Try using our Benefit Finder questionnaire to view a list of benefit programs you may be eligible to receive.