SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1851. What events end benefits?

In addition to the circumstances discussed in the preceding sections that can cause deductions from or suspension of benefit payments, there are events that can end your entitlement to benefits. They are provided in the chart below.

The occurrence of this event...

Ends Payment to These Beneficiaries:

(Benefits end with the month before the month the event occurs unless otherwise noted)

Retired Worker

Disabled Worker

Spouse

Divorced Spouse

Child Under 18

Child 18-19 full-time Student

Disabled Child 18 or Over

Widow(er)

Disabled Widow(er)

Surviving Divorced Spouse

Mother or Father

Surviving Divorced Mother or Father

Parent

Turning age 18 and not a full-time student or disabled.

-

-

-

-

X

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Turning age 19.

-

-

-

-

-

X (9)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Turning age 65.

-

X (1)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Student not in full-time school attendance and not disabled.

-

-

-

-

-

X (12)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Disability of worker getting disability benefits ends.

-

X (2)

X (2)

X (2)

X

X

X

-

-

-

-

-

-

Disability of beneficiary ends.

-

-

-

-

-

-

X (3)

-

X (3)

X (11)

-

-

-

Death of worker.

X

X

X (4)

X (10)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Death of beneficiary other than worker.

-

-

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

X

Divorce or annulment (final decree).

-

-

X (5)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Entitlement to retirement or disability insurance benefit based on primary insurance amount equal to or exceeding the worker's primary insurance amount.

-

-

X

X

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

Entitlement to retirement insurance benefit equal to or exceeding amount of survivor's benefit.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

X

-

X

X

X

X

Entitlement to widow(er)'s insurance benefit.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

X

X

-

Certification of entitlement of another person as legal spouse.

-

-

X (6)

-

-

-

-

X (6)

X (6)

-

X (6)

-

-

Marriage or remarriage.

-

-

-(6)

X (7)

X

X

X (7)

-

-

-

X (7)

X (7)

X (7)

Valid marriage to someone other than worker.

-

-

X (6)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

No child of worker under age 16 or age 16 or over and disabled.

-

-

X (8)

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

X

X

-

No natural or adopted child of beneficiary entitled on worker's earnings record.

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

-

X

-

(1) Retirement insurance benefit payable instead.

(2) The last month of entitlement is the second month after the month in which the disability ends, or the month before the month in which the individual turns age 65, whichever occurs first.

(3) The last month of entitlement is the second month after the month in which the disability ends or the beneficiary is under age 65.

(4) Widow's or widower's benefits usually payable.

(5) Except where spouse had attained age 62 at the same time of the divorce and her marriage to the worker had been in effect for 10 years immediately preceding the effective date of the final divorce.

(6) If beneficiary is entitled as “de facto” spouse, that is, if he or she is qualified for benefits only under the provisions explained in §§306.1.B., or 402.1.B.

(7) See Chapters Chapter 3 and Chapter 4 for information on when marriage to another beneficiary does not end benefits.

(8) Unless spouse is at least full retirement age (FRA), or is at least age 62 and has elected to receive reduced benefits.

(9) If the student has not completed the requirements for a secondary school diploma or equivalent certificate, benefits continue through the month the course is completed or for 2 months after attainment of age 19, whichever is less.

(10) Surviving divorced wife's benefits usually payable.

(11) Only if entitlement is as a disabled surviving divorced spouse.

(12) A student, otherwise in full-time attendance, is deemed not to be in full-time attendance if the student meets the requirements for suspension of benefits as required by prisoner or fugitive felon provisions (see §1850).

Last Revised: Jul. 22, 2009