When someone passes away the money that he or she has invested in Social Security is not necessarily wasted. Dependents might be able to claim it through survivor's benefits.
Social Security is essentially a forced retirement plan. We put money into the program and receive it back when we retire in the form of monthly payments. Obviously, it is more complex than that, but that is the basic idea.
On the other hand, unlike other retirement plans, we do not name a beneficiary for our Social Security. It does not automatically go to anyone else we choose when we pass away. That does not mean that all the saving was wasteful.
Some people can claim survivor's benefits and get the benefit of that saving.
The Lowell Sun recently listed who might be eligible for those benefits in "Social Security has survivor's benefits."
The list includes:
The Social Security Administration is unlikely to chase you down if you are eligible for survivor's benefits and are not claiming them, so if you have any questions about your eligibility, consult with an elder law attorney.
Reference: Lowell Sun (Jan. 24, 2016) "Social Security has survivor's benefits."
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