Who's Eligible for Social Security Survivor Benefits?

Dear Savvy Senior,

Who all is eligible for Social Security survivor benefits? My ex-husband died last year at the age of 59, and I would like to find out if me, or my two kids – ages 13 and 16 – that we had together are eligible for anything?

Divorced Widow

Dear Divorced,

If your ex-husband worked and paid Social Security taxes, both you and your kids may very well be eligible for survivor benefits, but you need to act quickly because benefits are generally retroactive only up to six months. Here's what you should know.

Under Social Security law, when a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, certain members...