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Women and Social Security

V-SS-VondaVantilBy: Vonda VanTil, Social Security Public Affairs Specialist

The Social Security program treats all workers—men and women—exactly the same in terms of the benefits they can receive. But women may want to familiarize themselves with what the program means to them in their particular circumstances.

One of the most significant things women need to remember about Social Security is the importance of promptly reporting a name change. Not changing your name with Social Security can delay your federal income tax refund.

When women start receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, other family members may be eligible for payments as well. For example, benefits can be paid to a husband:

• If he is age 62 or older; or

• At any age, if he is caring for your child (the child must be younger than 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits on your record).

• Benefits also can be paid to unmarried children if they are:

• Younger than age 18;

• Between 18 and 19 years old, but in elementary or secondary school as full-time students; or

• Age 18 or older and severely disabled (the disability must have started before age 22).

The family of a woman who dies may be eligible for survivors benefits based on her work.

For more information about women and Social Security, visit our special Women’s page online at www.socialsecurity.gov/women.

Vonda VanTil is the public affairs specialist for West Michigan.  You can write her c/o Social Security Administration, 3045 Knapp St NE, Grand Rapids MI 49525 or via email at vonda.vantil@ssa.gov  


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