Social Security Parent's Insurance Benefits

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.

Based on the information you gave, you could get Social Security parent's benefits beginning at age 62 if:

  • your child had enough work credits;
  • your child provided at least ½ of your support; and you are not getting a higher benefit on your own work record

Your Next Steps

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

Application Process

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

Program Contact Information

Would you like more information about parents' benefits?
Use the link below to our Publications Home Page and review our publication "Survivors," Social Security Publication Number 05-10084 or review Chapter 4 of the Social Security Handbook.

Would you like more information about social security credits?
Visit SSA's Publications Home page and review "Social Security: How You Earn Credits," Social Security Publication Number 05-10072.

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