Q: I stumbled onto your YouTube channel while looking at funny cat videos. Why does Social Security produce cat videos?
A: It’s just one of many ways for us to connect to people where they already spend time. It’s important for us to let everyone know about all we do for Americans, and we’re especially interested in getting the word out about our easy, convenient and secure online services. That’s why we look for creative ways to reach people, young and old. Our popular YouTube videos are not only a hit with viewers, but they let people know the best way to apply for benefits — online. See the videos for yourself at www.socialsecurity.gov. Just select the YouTube link at the bottom right side of the page. By the way, the cat videos have already received more than 1 million views.
Who receives funds?
Q: When a person who has worked and paid Social Security taxes dies, who is eligible for survivors benefits?
A: Social Security survivors benefits can be paid to:
Widows or widowers — unreduced benefits at full retirement age, or reduced benefits as early as age 60;
Disabled widows or widowers — as early as age 50;
Widows or widowers at any age if they take care of the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled and receiving Social Security benefits;
Unmarried children under age 18, or up to age 19 if they are attending secondary school full time. Under certain circumstances, benefits can be paid to stepchildren and grandchildren;
Children at any age who were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled; and
Dependent parents age 62 or older.
Even if you are divorced, you still may qualify for survivors benefits. For more information, go to www.socialsecurity.gov.
This column was prepared by the Social Security Administration. For fast answers to specific Social Security questions, contact Social Security toll-free at (800) 772-1213 or visit www.socialsecurity.gov.