9 Social Security Secrets to Maximize Your Benefits in Retirement

You can still work while receiving survivor benefits

The good thing about survivor benefits is that you don’t have to stop working to collect them. There’s one limitation, though. You might receive less if you haven’t reached your full retirement age. For example, for 2020, $1 from your survivor benefits will be withheld for every $2 you earn above the $18,240 threshold. On the bright side, this deduction only applies to wages, not other sources of income such as pensions, interest, investment earnings or other government benefits.

Children are also eligible for survivor benefits

Children can also be the beneficiaries of Social Security benefits and receive their deceased parent’s benefits if they are not married, younger than 18 or age 19 if they are still in high school.  They also qualify if they have a disability that started before they turned 22.

If you are caring for your deceased spouse or ex-spouse’s minor or disabled child or children, you can also qualify for survivor benefits, regardless of your age. In terms of family benefits, a family maximum ranges between 150 and 188% of a worker’s basic social benefit.

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