After the loss of a loved one, you will probably have a lot of questions about Social Security benefits. We at Horan & McConaty will file a statement of death with the Social Security Administration on your family’s behalf. You will not need a certified copy of the death certificate for this filing.
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. Those who may receive monthly benefits include:
- 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
- A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years, or 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
Lump-Sum Death Payment
A one-time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:
- A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death
- A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death
- A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death
Applying for Benefits
We will notify Social Security of your loved one’s passing, but it is important to know that benefits will vary for each individual. It’s important to understand that you must apply in order to receive benefits. You can apply at any Social Security office or by phone.
Call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day at 1-800-772-1213. The operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by phone.
To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00 am and 7:00 pm, Monday through Friday. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you can leave a message and they will call you back, in most cases, by the next business day.
For the most recent information, visit http://socialsecurity.gov/