Message from Social Security
funeral director is helping the Social Security office by giving
you this information about Social Security benefits. If the
deceased was receiving benefits, you need to contact us to report
the death. If you think you may be eligible for survivors benefits,
you should contact us to apply.
Social Security helps families
Security survivors benefits help ease the financial burden that
follows a worker's death. Almost all children under age 18 will
get monthly benefits if a working parent dies. Other family
members may be eligible for benefits, too. Anyone who has worked
and paid Social Security (FICA) taxes has been earning Social
Security benefits for his or her family. The amount of work
needed to pay survivors benefits depends on the worker's age
at the time of death. It may be as little as 1-1/2 years for
a young worker. No one needs more than 10 years.
can get survivors benefits?
is a list of family members who usually can get benefits:
and widowers age 60 or older.
and widowers at any age if caring for the deceased s children
who are under age 16 or disabled.
wives and husbands age 60 or older, if married to the deceased
10 years or more.
Widowers, Divorced wives and divorced husbands age 50 or
older, if they are disabled.
up to age 18.
age 18 19, if the attend elementary or high school full
over age 18, if they become disabled before age 22.
deceased worker s parents age 62 or older,if they were being
supported by the worker.
special one-time payment
addition to the monthly benefits for family members, a one-time
payment of $255 can be paid to a spouse who was living with
the worker at the time of death. If there is none, it can be
spouse who is eligible for benefits.
child or children eligible for benefits.
payment cannot be made if there is no eligible spouse or
to apply for benefits
can apply for benefits by telephone or by going to any Social
may need some of the documents shown on the list below. But
don t delay your application because you don t have all the
information. If you don t have a document you need, Social Security
can help you get it.
Social Security number and the deceased worker s Social
death certificate. (Generally, the funeral director provides
a statement that can be used for this purpose.
of the deceased worker s earnings for last year (W-2 forms
or self-employment tax return).
marriage certificate, if you are applying for benefits as
a widow, widower, divorced wife, or divorced husband.
divorce decree, if you are applying for benefits as a divorced
wife or husband.
s birth certificates and Social Security numbers, if applying
for children s benefits.
checking or savings account information, if you want direct
deposit of your benefits.
will need to submit original documents or copies certified
by the issuing office.
can mail or bring them to the office. Social Security will make
photocopies and return your documents.
Security Income (SSI)
you are 65 or older, disabled, or blind, ask the Social Security
representative about supplemental security Income (SSI) checks
for people with limited income and resources. If you receive
SSI, you may also qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and other
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more information, write or visit any Social Security office,
or phone the toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213. You can speak
to a representative weekdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.
the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, any checks
which arrive after death will need to be returned to the Social
Security office. If Social Security checks were being directly
deposited into a bank account, the bank needs to be notified
of the death, too.