Survivor Benefits and Social Security Trivia

Survivors benefits:

When you die, your family may be eligible for benefits based on your work. Family members who can collect benefits include a widow or widower who is:
60 or older; or
50 or older and disabled; or
Any age if he or she is caring for your child who is younger than 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits.
Your children can receive benefits, too, if they are unmarried and:
Younger than 18 years old; or
Between 18 and 19 years old, but in an elementary or secondary school as full-time students; or
Age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22).

Additionally, your parents can receive benefits on your earnings if they were dependent on you for at least half of their support.

Payment after death:

If you had enough credits, a one-time payment of $255 also will be made after your death. This benefit may be paid to your spouse or minor children if they meet certain requirements.

Some facts about Social Security:

2006 Social Security taxes
You and your employer each pay 6.2 percent
If you are self-employed, you pay 12.4 percent
You do not pay Social Security taxes on any earnings above. $94,200
2006 Medicare taxes
You and your employer each pay 1.45 percent
If you are self-employed, you pay 2.9 percent
Medicare taxes are paid on all of your earnings;
there is no limit.

Work credits in 2006:
For each $970 you earn, you receive one Social Security ““credit,”” up to four per year.

Most people need 40 credits to be eligible for retirement benefits.
Younger people need fewer credits to qualify for disability and survivors benefits.

Average 2006 monthly Social Security benefits
Retired worker: $1,002
Retired couple: $1,648
Disabled worker: $939
Disabled worker with a spouse and child: $1,571
Widow or widower: $967
Young widow or widower with two children: $2,074

2006 monthly SSI (Social Secutiy Income,(Welfare)) payment rates (does not include state supplement, if any)
$603 for an individual
$904 for a couple