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First source of survivor benefits

Codes and Frequencies

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SRCSURV1 reports the first source of survivor benefits identified by respondents who reported receiving income from survivor benefits (e.g., from widow's pensions, estates, trusts, annuities, or other survivor benefits except Social Security and VA benefits) during the previous calendar year. If the individual received survivor benefits from more than one source, the second source of survivor benefits is reported in SRCSURV2.


This variable and the companion variable SRCSURV2 are largely comparable over time. Recipients of black lung survivor pensions received a separate code (code 7) only beginning in 2003.

The amount of income received during the previous calendar year from the source identified in SRCSURV1 is reported in the INCSURV1 variable. Similarly, income received from the second source of survivor benefits, identified in SRCSURV2, is reported in INCSURV2.

Researchers interested in the total amount of survivor benefits received, rather than the amount received from specific sources, should use INCSURV, available beginning in 1988. Because INCSURV reports the value of survivor benefits from all sources, the amount reported in that variable may be greater than the sum of INCSURV1 and INCSURV2.

As noted above, survivor benefits paid via VA payments and Social Security are specifically excluded from SRCSURV1 and SRCSURV2. Recipients of survivor's benefits paid by the Veterans Administration are identifiable via GOTVSURV for 1988 onward. Persons who received Social Security payments as survivor benefits (either as a widow or as a child of a deceased parent) are identifiable via WHYSS1 and WHYSS2 beginning in 2001.


  • Persons age 15+ who received survivor benefits (other than Social Security or VA benefits) during the previous calendar year.


Years Jan Feb ASEC Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
1989 – 2023 - - X - - - - - - - - -



Unharmonized Variables