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Will my children receive money from Social Security when I die?

Answer:

Maybe. It depends on how old your children are, and how long you've worked in a job where you've paid Social Security taxes.

To be eligible for Social Security benefits when you die, your children must be age 18 or under (19 if still in high school), and unmarried. However, if an unmarried child is disabled and was disabled before age 22, he or she can qualify for benefits based on your record at any age; benefits for a disabled child may end, though, if your child marries or is no longer considered disabled.

In addition, you must have earned the required number of Social Security credits (generally 40, depending on your age at the time of your death). You earn credits by working in a job where you pay Social Security taxes on your earnings. But under a special rule that applies to young workers, your children may be eligible for benefits if you earned at least six Social Security credits in the three years just before your death. Because you can earn only four credits per year, you must have worked at least a year and a half to earn these six credits.

Your child may be eligible to receive up to 75% of your basic benefit (the benefit that the Social Security Administration calculates you would have received if you had reached full retirement age at the time of your death). Various factors will affect the amount of your child's benefit, including whether other family members are also receiving benefits on your earnings record.

You can find out more about what survivors benefits your child might receive if you die, based on your earnings record, by checking your Social Security Statement. To access your statement, sign up for a my SocialSecurity account at the Social Security Administration's website, www.socialsecurity.gov.

Information provided has been prepared from sources and data we believe to be accurate, but we make no representation as to its accuracy or completeness. Data and information is provided for informational purposes only, and is not intended for solicitation or trading purposes. Please consult your tax and legal advisors regarding your individual situation. Neither AXA Equitable nor any of the data provided by AXA Equitable or its content providers, such as Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc., shall be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for the actions taken in reliance therein. By accessing the AXA Equitable website, a user agrees to abide by the terms and conditions of the site including not redistributing the information found therein.

Please be advised that this material is not intended as legal or tax advice. Accordingly, any tax information provided in this material is not intended or written to be used, and cannot be used, by any taxpayer for the purpose of avoiding penalties that may be imposed on the taxpayer. The tax information was written to support the promotion or marketing of the transaction(s) or matter(s) addressed and you should seek advice based on your particular circumstances from an independent advisor.

AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company (NY, NY). Securities are offered through AXA Advisors, LLC, NY, NY 212-314-4600 (member FINRA / SIPC). AXA Equitable and AXA Advisors are affiliated companies, do not provide legal or tax advice and are not affiliated with Broadridge Investor Communication Solutions, Inc.

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GE 64308 (07/2011)