Social Security Benefits
The following information is a checklist that will assist you in filing for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments can be made. If you want to start with advanced planning, click the Plan Ahead button below to get started.
The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death.
Who Can Receive Monthly Benefits
Monthly survivor’s benefits can be paid to certain family members, including the beneficiary’s widow or widower, dependent children and dependent parents as noted below:
- A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
- Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full time).
- Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled.
- Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.
One-Time Death Payment
A one-time payment of $255 is payable to one of the following and is based on the priority order listed below. This benefit is in addition to any other benefits that may be paid as stated above.
- A surviving spouse if he or she was living with the beneficiary at the time of death.
- A surviving spouse, if living apart, was eligible for Social Security benefits on the beneficiary’s earnings record for the month of death.
- Or if there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who was eligible for benefits on the beneficiary’s earning record in the month of death.
Applying For Death Benefits
In order to receive benefits you MUST apply either in person at any Social Security office or, you can apply by telephone. To reach the Social Security office dial 1.800.772.1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone. The Social Security Administration office can be reached by dialing 1.800.772.1213. To speak with a representative, you must call between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. Monday Friday. If you call after hours, weekends or holidays, you can leave a message and your call will be returned, in most cases, the next business day. This toll-free number is available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. For other questions related to Social Security Benefits, please contact the Social Security Administration by telephone or by clicking on the following link. www.socialsecurity.gov