This is a question that I hear all too often from clients. They are worried and want to make sure that their family is going to be taken care of if something happens to them. If you were to pass away while your claim for benefits is being processed by Social Security, a relative is able to step in for the estate and continue with the claim. Any benefits will be paid up to the date of death if Social Security finds that you are disabled.
There may be additional benefits payable to your children after your passing as well. If you have worked long enough, Social Security will pay benefits to your minor children up to age 19 if they are still in high school and after that if your children are disabled.
Benefits are also payable to a widow(er). Benefits are payable when they reach full retirement age but may be payable sooner if they become disabled. If your surviving spouse is disabled, they will be eligible for benefits based on your earnings record when they turn age 50 or sooner if they are caring for a child under age 16 or disabled. Your surviving ex-spouse may also be entitled to benefits in certain situations. Any benefits the widow(er) receive may be affected if they remarry before age 60 (age 50 if disabled).