Program Description

Social Security's Mother’s or Father’s Insurance Benefit is federally funded and managed by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). These benefits are paid to the surviving spouse or surviving divorced spouse of an insured worker.

Program Requirements

To be eligible for this benefit program, you must meet all of the following requirements:

  • Be unmarried.
  • Meet the marriage duration requirement.
  • Have in your care the deceased's child who is under age 16 or disabled and entitled to child's insurance benefits (for a surviving divorced mother or father the child must be their natural or legally adopted child).
  • Not be entitled to a higher Social Security retirement benefit on your own record.
  • Not be entitled to a widow's or widower's benefit.
  • Be finally divorced from the deceased worker (Surviving Divorced Spouse Only).

Note: Surviving Divorced Mother’s and Father’s do not have to meet the 10 year marriage duration.

If you would like to find out if you may be eligible for any Social Security's benefit programs, 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.

Contact Information

Visit SSA's Publications Page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

Benefit Categories
family of three
Family Social Security
Insurance Social Security