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The Effect of Survivors’ Benefits on Poverty and Health Indicators of Women and Children in Widowed-Mother Households: A Turkish Case Study

Ozdamar, Oznur and Giovanis, E (2016) The Effect of Survivors’ Benefits on Poverty and Health Indicators of Women and Children in Widowed-Mother Households: A Turkish Case Study. UNSPECIFIED. Economic Research Forum (ERF).

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Abstract

Survivors' benefits are cash payments made by government to family members when a worker dies. His or her spouse and unmarried children are entitled to receive these cash benefits. The payments are intended to help ease the financial strain caused by the loss of the worker's income. Survivors can receive benefits if the deceased partner was employed and contributed to Social Security long enough to be considered insured. Although these benefits aim to help single-head households who are in financial difficulties due to the loss of an additional household income, the remaining parents have generally serious challenges to do work both at labor market and home such as childrearing and house chores. Widows across the world therefore share two common experiences: a loss of social status and reduced economic circumstances. Prior research suggests that widowhood is much more common experience among women than men. Moreover, it is more likely to cause financial difficulties for women than for men, and financial strain reducing well-being of women. Using Cross-Sectional Income and Living Conditions Survey of Turkey (2006-2012), the first aim of this paper is to empirically analyze the effect of survivors’ benefits on poverty indicators of widowed-mother households and secondly to investigate whether survivors’ benefits promote health status of women and children in these families.

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