What are My Rights to Social Security?

A surviving spouse or dependent child may be entitled to social security benefits. The executor or spouse needs to contact the Social Security Administration to stop the decedent’s social security pay­ments and to determine the rights of the spouse and minor children.

A surviving spouse may collect his or her benefit or the deceased spouse’s benefit, whichever is higher.  The surviving spouse does not get both.  Additionally, benefits can be paid to minor children under the age of 18, up to 19 if in high school, and any age if disabled before age 22.