Actually as surviving spouse you too are covered IF he was covered--but that may be a big problem IF his work history is very limited and he was not covered. SS is a bit complex--plan on spending some time to sort the options out. Focus on he was spouse-- and kids were DEPENDENT---do not give out too much other information at all----don't lie--but don't add!!!
From one summary
What is the amount of the benefit for spouse and child(ren)?
The surviving spouse of a fully insured worker eligible shall be paid a monthly benefit or disability in an amount equal to sixty percent (60%) of the retirement or disability insurance benefit calculated for the deceased spouse at the date of death while each surviving child shall be entitled to fifteen percent (15%). If the surviving spouse is receiving his or her share, the children (3 or more) together shall be entitled to forty percent (40%). The only time when the children can receive hundred percent (100%) of the deceased wage earner's retirement is if the surviving spouse is either deceased or parents are divorce and no payment was ever made to a surviving spouse. When this happens, each child will be entitled to 15% up to the maximum of 7 children or 100% of the deceased wage earner's retirement benefits.
The total survivor's benefit paid to the spouse and the children may not exceed the retirement benefit calculated for the decedent as of the date of death, except that if the surviving spouse receives benefits based on his or her own employment coverage, that amount plus the survivors' benefits for the children may exceed the amount of the deceased retirement benefit. In no event shall the amount paid be less than the minimum established by Social Security Administration.
The surviving spouse of an individual who died fully insured, if such spouse has filed application, shall be entitled to a survivor insurance benefit for each month beginning with the month of death of the fully insured spouse and ending with the month preceding the month in which the surviving spouse dies or remarries; provided that such benefit shall be subject to the earning test.
If the spouse of the deceased insured worker is eligible for retirement or disability benefits based on his or her own employment coverage, and is also eligible for surviving spouse benefits, the spouse shall receive whatever benefit pays the largest monthly payment. The surviving spouse cannot receive both benefits.
Every surviving child who is dependent upon an individual entitled to old age benefits who was dependent upon an individual who died fully insured or currently insured, shall be entitled, upon filing application, to a child's insurance benefit for each month beginning with the month of death of such individual and ending with the month preceding whichever of the following first occurs:
- attainment of age eighteen years, except that benefits are payable until the month before the attainment of twenty-two so long as the beneficiary is a bona fide student, and except that benefits are payable during the disability of a child who was disabled before the attainment of age twenty-two;
A child shall be deemed dependent upon his or her parent or adopting parent unless such individual was not living in the same household with or contributing to the support of the child. Child's insurance benefits shall be paid to the individual upon whom the child is currently dependent, except such benefit shall be subject to the earning test.
What are the documents required when applying?
- proof of marriage and proof of your age;
- proof of worker's death - death certificate;
- Children's birth certificates, if they are natural children of the decedent; &... "