Social Security Benefits
We will take care of informing the Social Security Administration of a death. You are required to apply for the benefit yourself, and we will give you the necessary information to do so. Complete information regarding Social Security death benefits can be found on their website,
Telephone number:: 1-800-772-1213
Hearing impaired should call TTD ONLY number: 1-800-325-0778
The Following is an overview. The website contains listed above may contain updated information.
- The Social Security Administration will send the lump sum payment of $255.00 as a death benefit to the surviving spouse of a wage earner. The benefit is only payable on the earning record of the deceased who must have paid into Social Security during his/her lifetime. Usually the surviving spouse is the only person entitled to this benefit, unless there is a surviving dependent of the deceased under the age of 18. This determination can be cleared through Social Security when call them. If there is no surviving spouse or minor dependents of the deceased, a death benefit is not payable.
- The Social Security Administration may need the following documents to complete your application for benefits:
- Your social security number & the deceased’s social security number
- Proof of your age
- Proof of your marriage
- Proof of the death (death certificate)
- Dependent’s birth certificates (if they are applying for benefits)
- Monthly Social Security Benefits
- A social security check is always issued for the prior calendar month.
- A person must live the entire month to be entitled to keep the monthly check. If an individual dies before the end of the calendar month, they are not eligible to keep the check for that month and it must be returned.
- (For example: If a death occurs at 11:59 PM on the last day of the month, the check that is received cannot be kept. It must be sent back to Social Security. If the person lives into the first day of the next month, you are permitted to keep the prior calendar month's check.)
- If the monthly benefits are being direct deposited into a bank account following a death, do nothing. The Social Security office will retrieve the monies from the bank. Sending the money back yourself complicates the process of returning the correct amount of money. Often the Social Security office retrieves the money due to them in addition to the funds that you previously sent.
- If the monthly benefits are being mailed by check, write deceased on the front of the envelope and send it back to Social Security.
- Again, please refer to the toll free number provided to you for any questions or concerns that you may have.
- Other Social Security Benefits that may be applicable:
- A widow/widower at the age of 65 is entitled to un-reduced benefits on the deceased’s earning record or any widow/widower who is caring for a dependent child (under the age of 16 or disabled) of the deceased wage earner. Reduced benefits are payable if the widow/widower is disabled and over the age of 50 or if the widow/widower is not disabled, they must be over the age of 60. Remarriage after the age of 60 (50 if disabled) will not prevent the payment of benefits.
- Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending an elementary or secondary school full-time). Children who were disabled before the age of 22 can receive benefits at any age as long as they remain disabled and unmarried.
- Divorced widow/widower after 10 years of marriage is entitled to benefits at 65 or any age if caring for an entitled child of the deceased worker. Reduced benefits can be received at age 60. Remarriage after 60 will not prevent payments of benefits.
- Divorced widow/widower married less than 10 years is entitled only while taking care of an entitled child of the deceased worker.
- In addition, dependent grandchildren and parents (62 or older) may qualify for survivor’s benefits on the deceased worker’s record under certain circumstances.