Social Security Benefits for
People Affected by the Terrorist Attacks
Security is more than a retirement program; it is America's family
protection plan. Social Security provides valuable disability
and survivors protection for workers and their families.
worker dies, certain members or his or her family may be eligible
for benefits if the worker earned enough Social Security credits
while they were working. The younger a person is, the fewer credits
are needed to be eligible for survivors benefits. However, nobody
needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work) to be eligible for
any Social Security benefits. The family members include: a widow(er)
age 60 or older, 50 or older if disabled or any age if caring
for a child under age 16; children if they are unmarried and under
age 18, under 19 but still in school or 18 or older but disabled;
and parents if the worker was their primary means of support.
A special one-time payment of $255 may be made to a worker's spouse
or minor children. If the worker was divorced, their ex-spouse
could be eligible for a widow or widower's benefit.
benefits are payable at any age to people who have earned enough
Social Security credits and who have a severe physical or mental
impairment that is expected to prevent them from doing "substantial"
work for a year or more or who have a condition that is expected
to result in death. The disability program includes incentives
to smooth the transition back into the workforce, including continuation
of benefits and health care coverage while a person attempts to
If a worker
is eligible for disability benefits, other members of their family
might receive benefits, too. These include: a spouse if he or
she is at least 62 years old or under 62 but caring for a child
under age 16; and children if they are unmarried and under age
18, under 19 but still in school or 18 or older but disabled.
If a worker is divorced, their ex-spouse could be eligible for
To Obtain More Information or File a Claim
2001, more than 45 million Americans will receive over $400
billion in Social Security benefits.
of every three Social Security beneficiaries is not a retiree,
but is a disabled worker or family member, or a survivor of
a worker who has died.
70% of the workforce have no long-term disability insurance.
Social Security provides disability coverage for a worker with
a family equivalent to about a $233,000 disability policy.
of deceased workers account for 16% of total benefits paid.
estimated 98% of young children and their mothers and fathers
are insured for survivors' benefits through Social Security.
Social Security survivors' protection is equivalent to a $354,000
life insurance policy.
average monthly benefit for a widowed parent with two children
average monthly benefit for an aged (over 60) widow or widower
average monthly benefit for a disabled worker is $789.