When Tragedy Occurs, Your Family Can Count on Us

Older woman comforting a young boyTragedy strikes without warning. For families who lose a wage earner, it can have a devastating financial impact in addition to the emotional one.

Acting Commissioner Carolyn Colvin says that Social Security touches the lives of every American, often in times of tragedy and uncertainty. It’s true. Our programs go beyond retirement and disability benefits. Social Security helps care for the surviving families of deceased entitled workers.

If you work, some of the Social Security taxes you pay now go toward survivors benefits for workers and their families. In the event of your death, certain family members — widows, widowers (including your divorced spouse), children and dependent parents — may be eligible for survivors benefits. Social Security’s survivors benefits may be more valuable than your individual life insurance.

The benefit amount your family is eligible for depends on your average lifetime earnings. The more you earned, the more their benefits will be. Check your Social Security Statement to see an estimate of survivors benefits we could pay. You can create a secure my Social Security account to access your Statement anytime and see an estimate of these benefits. With a my Social Security account, you can also see an estimate of your retirement and disability benefits, and ot her important information. You can also visit our Benefits Planner to help you better understand your and your family’s, Social Security protection as you plan for your financial future.

In certain circumstances, we also make a one-time payment of $255 to your spouse or child if you’ve worked long enough. Survivors must apply for this payment within two years of the date of death.

For more information about how Social Security’s survivors benefits can help your surviving dependents, please read Survivors Benefits or visit our website. No one likes to think about death, but, unfortunately, it’s inevitable. When it happens, know that you can count on Social Security to be there for your loved ones.

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302 thoughts on “When Tragedy Occurs, Your Family Can Count on Us

  1. In certain circumstances, we also make a one-time payment of $255 to your spouse or child if you’ve worked long enough. Survivors must apply for this payment within two years of the date of death.

    I have no spouse and my children are grown. Can the $255 be used for my funeral expenses?

    • I seem to remember when my mother passed away back on 1983, I was unable to receive the survivor benefit because I was 29 years old. I think the child has to be a minor in order to receive that benefit. And no, I was not able to use the survivor benefit towards funeral expenses.

      • The $255 is usally applied for and received by the funeral home or crematorium. Frequently, family members do not realize that this transaction took place.

        • That comment is without factual basis. In the early 1980’s Reagan and O’Neill trimmed many entitlements. The lump sum payment was no longer payable to the funeral home directly nor to the person paying for the funeral. Only an entitled widow(er) or child(ren) are eligible. Misinformation only serves to add to the time SSA needs to properly serve the public, which takes away time from others. Factual information is available from the agency instead.

          • outstanding mr ray Fernandez. I kew about tht when my moms past away a year and half ago. I like the way you help people on the web site, keep up the good work. ret.usmc/army ralph fernandez

    • $255 is an insult to anyone that has lost a love one. What can you do with that small amount of money? Absolutely nothing.

      • They don’t owe you anything. What cheek you have to criticize because you think the government handing over a check for $225 “isn’t enough???” The only “insult” here is that I’ll bet you’re one of those people who complain about “welfare cheats” and disabled people whom you think are “faking” because they’re “too lazy to work” taking “your tax dollars.” Your comment is disgusting.

        • My husband recently died and his cremation was over 5,000 dollars. I do have to agree that 255 dollars doesn’t go far. If a burial, casket etc is added it would be well over 7 or 8 thousand.

        • I have paid into SS all my life and I will not get it all back. SS should cut a check when that person retires for what they have paid in. Instead they give your money to other people. Does not make sense. So SS owes everyone a lot. Also people have a right to complain about that little check that they receive every month. Should be a lot more.

        • A person can pay into SS for 40 years or more and gets absolutely nothing for it if he never married or had any children. He’s not even entitled to the measly $225.00 to help with burial expenses. Where’s the justice in that?

        • Marc, what is the matter with you? Retired’s post is correct. $255 buys NOTHING. My brother died at 55, his funeral cost us $12,000. Guess what? We did not even get $255 from SSA. He got nothing. He paid in his whole working life and got nothing for it.

          • Yes you are right. My Nephew died on oct 1. Now they say his check for sept which went in today has to sent back WRONG. He was alive in Sept

      • I agree with you, $255.00 is a slap in the face. For all of the social security taxes a person pays year in and year out this is the answer? Let’s face it, with the elected officials running this country now we are being laughed at.

        • Social Security is NOT a burial benefit, that is NOT what it is meant for. It’s a RETIREMENT and DISABILITY benefit. You are all complaining about them for something that they are not responsible for. If you want someone to pay you a benefit to cover burial expenses there are things called INSURANCE POLICIES meant specifically for that.

          • when your spouse dies…and there is no where for his benifits to go ..but sit and make money….I hve nothing including the fact my love of 21 years is gone..survivors benifits should not have an age limit..I am 54 my husband was 48 when he passed..and I have to wait for the age of 60 to get survivors benifits..this just doesnt make since..why that money just sits..my husband is gone he wouldnt want me to be in this position..I need help now…who nows what 6 years of waiting will bring..not right!

          • Marc your missing the point. I work i pay ss. Im not asking for a hand out it should benefit the person for whatever it maybe. I busted my ass for it. My Mom worked up until the last 2 wks of her life never saw a penny of ss. she startingworking at 17 until she died at 61. My father worked his whole life. He found out he was terminal stage five prostatecancer 56 yrs old. Doctors told him he had a yr and a half 1/2. He received ssi within a month. He was told he had to be on ssi 2yrs before he could get medicare. Go apply for medicaid. Lupron shots 1200 dollars a pop out of pocket once a month. Barely received 1100 hundred a month. These benefits are a joke. By the time I retire there isn’t a check for me. Social security office benefits not me. Thiefs if you ask me. Dog and pony act . Jump thru here, sit there, go to window 5. Your right life insurance is way better to invest in. oh wait i dont have a choice i have to pay ss.

          • There are many policies that for retirement but they can also be cashed out. A life time of payments but no retirement or survivor benefits should at least entitle you assistance with to burial cost

      • YOu expect taxpayers to pay for your funeral at $7000 to start? My would that take off from those who receive living benefits!

        • First a burial is not a funeral. You can have a million dollar funeral and a $1,500 burial!
          Imagine if it was mandatory that you paid into your employees retirement fund and you worked there for 40 years and died before retiring. Would you think it was okay if the fund kept all of your money because your children were grown and you wife had preceded you in death?

          • My mother died in car wreck 12/25/1995 ,father died 12/15/2015. He paid social security for 48 years recieved his check two years and paid taxes on it. Where does the money if he had lived ten more years go? Answere that

      • Buy son flowers. This people don’t fill shame to public this ?. In 1992 they paid $150 and to day, after 24 years the only raise $100. and the top of that, they said “We protect your family”. BigGGG protectioon!.

        • You are giving out misinformation. The lump sum has been $255 since it began. I worked for SSA from 1976 to 1986 and it’s always been $255.

    • I lost my father January 14, 2014, and when I went to see if I could collect the $255, I was told since I’m not a dependent child I will receive nothing. It says, spouse or child, not a dependent child. This is the biggest rip off I have ever seen. Even if I can’t get it then send it to finish paying off his funeral bill that I owe 176.00 for the past 2 years. I barely make enough to pay what bills I have now.

      • To me each person working pays the same amount bas=d on income. It is inherently wrong and in a way theft for the government to force payments from workers then only give benefits to spouses and their children including former spouses. My sibling worked and paid over $100k into SS. My mother could use that money but my sis never married and left no dependent children.

        We say all are equal in this country. No discrimination based on orientation gender marital status etc yet our income tax laws favor discrimination against unmarried individuals known as single filers. We need to have those who benefit from survivors benefits pay extra for their survivors to get those benefits or refund the portion of SS payments to the family or the beneficiaries of the single persons choosing. This only right.

      • My as I an as I an widows 41k benefits stolen from Katie schultz Kathleen since kid wrong payers not spending a dime on me my parents an ex boyfriend committed fraud illegal guaduain ship custody on me illegal I can be my own payee need help 2198013134

    • I lost both my husband and adult daughter a few months ago. I am disabled on receiving SSDI. My husband was retired and his retirement benefit was less than what I receive from SSDI. SS paid the $255.00 after he passed, but ended up taking away his SS benefits. This dropped my income to the point I am about to lose my house, cannot pay property taxes or bills. I am completely lost. I applied for county assistance and make too much with my $1084.00 a month SSDI payment. I could have had they counted the amount I received after the Medicare deduction . That put me just over the limit. I don’t know how they can say they are there for you after someone dies because they have left me, and many others I know, destitute. I have two funerals to pay for (over $20,000.00) and no income or savings. Every penny we had prior to my husbands passing went to pay for medical expenses in an attempt to save our daughters life. She passed the day of my husbands funeral.
      Both my husband and I worked hard for many years and never asked for help. When I became sick, I was devastated at no longer being able to work as I’ve worked from the time I was 14 years of age until now…age 60. There are no other benefits available from what I’ve been told. I wonder how many of our government politicians and workers have to live on social security alone had they been in a similar situation?
      I applied and received the $255.00 myself. The funeral home did not apply, nor did they offer. I was able to use the $255.00 to keep my electricity and heat going for another month.

  2. Does my wife apply for my monthly payments if i die. And also apply for hers. She is 62
    I am retired and receiving SS monthly payments. I am 65 this year.

    • Go to the Social Security office very soon. Government is changing/or has changed this benefit. She can draw on your SS, then at 70 switch over to hers, if it pays more. She can only take one yours or hers. I’m not a lawyer but have read about this in several sources. Don’t wait, when the law goes into effect, you lose.

          • If she is old enough she can receive a spousal benefit which does not effect what you receive. It could be offset if she already draws on her own account. Check with SS.

          • Hi Bobbie, your wife may be able to get benefits on your record, if she is at least 62 years of age and you are receiving retirement or disability benefits. She can also qualify for Medicare at age 65. Benefits paid to your spouse will not decrease your retirement benefit. Please visit our “Retirement Planner: Benefits For Your Spouse” for more information.

          • I am glad that someone sees this needed to be changed. Also it is wrong to not have a reduction to the income the retiree gets. I retired from gov’t and in order to leave a benefit at death I have to pay for it and receive a reduction in my monthly payment. Also worked under SS and work now but my SS payments are reduced drastically because I worked for hovernment. Talk about a ripoff. This is of mass proportion. And definitely discriminatory at its core. And people wonder why this is on brink of bankruptcy.

    • Thank you for your question Mr. Ambrose. If your wife already receives benefits as a spouse, under your record, her benefit will automatically convert to survivors benefits after we receive the report of death. If a person already receives retirement benefits on his or her own record, they can only apply for benefits as a widow or widower if the retirement benefit they receive is less than the benefits they would receive as a survivor.

  3. I was wondering what is the most important thing to do to keep our SS Dept strong and stable as I am a disability recipient. And would like to try to help in any way possible to keep sococial security strong for a long time to come

  4. When my husband died last year, I was told that I did not qualify for survivor benefits because I earned too much money. I don’t have any children at home and I still have a few years before I retire. So I guess all those years he paid in doesn’t help me at all.

  5. When I was a young person I walked into the SS office for my first sSocial Security card thinking I would not be back for another 40 years or more. A short time later my dad was diagnosed with lung cancer and passed away. I learned quickly the value of Social Security survivor benefits. It helped my family keep its head above water.

  6. The $255.00 death benefit amount has been the same for decades. Are there any plans to update this benefit amount to reflect a COLA for the time that has passed?

  7. All the RED tape, what needs to be done is the SS dept should alert everyone about the Death Benefits and not just tell everyone about the $255 bucks, but to place the rules upfront so that people can calculate what will happen if the day comes. So this way people can start planning and know what SS dept can do or not do for them if the love one is called to the bye n bye….. SS Dept why don’t you just let us know the rules your workers look at now !!! This way we know what we can or can not ask…..

    • Um, they DO tell you, everything you could ever need to know and more – it’s all right here on this website, to make it convenient for you 24/7. What more do you think they should/can do??? How tough is that – after all, you’re here now. Take a little responsibility for yourself. Why does everyone seem to expect someone else to wipe their noses for them? What a spoiled, selfish society we’ve become. It boggles the mind.

      • Hey, Marc, how are you? This is just my observation, some people may not have the same grasp on the terminology as others, or perhaps there is a language barrier that prevents them from fully understanding their benefits. Whatever the case may be, we are talking about people who have suffered a loss, (hence the title “When Tragedy Occurs…”). Do you think you could replace the sarcasm with a little compassion? I don’t think you would speak to these people the same way if they were standing in front of you.
        I’m not sure why you’re so angry but I’m pretty sure it isn’t the fault of anyone on this site. I will include you in my prayers in the hope that you find some peace.

        • Lisa, what an awesome reply to Marc. You must be a very special person to have the compassion and insight, and grace, that you just exhibited with your comment. God bless you and yours.

          • Yes, Lisa, thank you. Many folks come to this site for answers. As most of us do not deal with Social Security on a daily basis, the jargon used sometimes doesn’t make sense. Sadly, those in the SS offices often use the same attitude as Marc, frustrating us lay-people even more. Hopefully, someone with insite such as your self will read these comments and speak with the employees at the SS offices. Thanks again.

  8. What’s 250 when it costs 10000 to bury someone is this joke?
    Maybe don’t bail out the banks in 2008 and every one could get a free burial, mr Obama!

  9. The surviving spouse may still receive spousal SS benefit. If the spouse is earning greater than $15,700 then the spouse will have to pay more to SS, but that excess applies to spouse’s SS earnings which will increase her/his SS benefit at retirement. Make appointment and visit SS. Make sure to tell them that you want survivor benefit and not your own.

  10. no thats no fare my husband pass and I am retired but work part time and I am getting some of his but when I get a rise for working they don’t give it to me without taking it off his. that whole business they are doing is wrong. you need to contact AARP and get them to fight for you.

    • You will be able to keep all of your earnings and his SS when you reach SS retirement age. Sorry, I don’t know when that is for you, for me it was when I turned 65.

      • I went to the SS office because very soon I will turn 66, and what the clerk told me is that I need to select mine because is higher than my husband’s (whom already pass away) she never mentioned that I can select his, and that at my full retirement age, that honestly I do not know what age is that, I can switch to mine, I am planning to continue working, but she also mentioned that I need to have an income not greater than $15,700!! who can live in California with that!
        Was the information I receive in the SS office correct?

        • Maria you can select his if you want even though it is lower and switch to your own at age 70 which would give you what is called delayed retirement credits adding a percentage for each year between 66 and 70 where you did not draw on your own. You can use this chart to figure out what the additional amount would be at age 70. Please note that as you continue to work that can also result in an increase to your own benefit regardless of your age as recalculations will be done.

        • Hi Maria, if you were born between 1/2/1943 and 1/1/1955, your full retirement age is 66 years. You can work while you receive Social Security retirement (or survivors) benefits, but if you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, your earnings may reduce your benefit amount. For 2016, the yearly limit is $15,720. See our “Retirement Planner: Getting Benefits While Working” for more information.
          In some cases, a widow can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate. Please continue working with your local office if you have specific questions about your situation, or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. for assistance.

  11. What is it with this “all about me – government should give me a hand out mentality”? We should all be responsible for planning for our own funeral expenses, whatever they may be. I understand that $255 death benefit isn’t a great deal of money, but why should anyone think they are entitled to that let alone full funeral expenses paid by Social Security?
    Grow up and take responsibility for yourself people!

  12. Apparently, it is National check your statement day. It would more appropriately named national don’t check your statement day. The website is down and SSA will not print one for you through the 1-800 number. You go Obama.

  13. In 2010 a person pulled out from a side street and I hit her vehicle all down the drivers side . I was on a motorcycle and she was driving on a suspended DL. Haven’t been able to work since then . I was airlifted from the scene and taken to the med , where I spent the next two months. My med bill at the time of release was almost 500,000. I have been turned down for disability for the second time now . How am I supposed to live the rest of my life ?

    • I was denied 4 times for disability and then I got my lawyer after a couple of surgeries and a year off of work to appeal before a SS appeals judge and got it through. Of course the lawyer gets his share, but at least I got some for that year. Then when I was disabled for good 10 years or so later it went straight through when I jumped through their hoops of getting an exam by their doctors. Didn’t you get a lawyer for your accident?

  14. I am disabled since the last few years and I am now age 62. My husband is 70. Does anyone know if there is something I need to do to collect my full amount at age 66? What happens with spousal benefits and would I be eligible along the way?

    • You failed to say if you are drawing a benefit now. In order to get disability on your own work record you have to prove you became disabled before you were last insured, generally you would have worked 5 of the 10 years before onset. Check with SSA before the end of the month.

    • YOu need to GO TO the SS office before April 30, 2016 because you will lose benefits of spousal benefits if you qualify. YOu need to discuss it with them I think one of you has to have delayed taking benefits at the time of eligibility to qualify for the spousal benefits, but those benefits disappear at the end of this month.

  15. With all the money Our Great Government wastes We could All have Funeral Expenses paid in full from the Taxes, etc. We have paid. And No im not one of those that puts my hand out for anything. I struggle to survive on my own hard work. It just amazes me about the so called Death Benefit! That is a joke!

    • The benefit was established when SS started and the amount has never been updated. Is there some reason the government needs to bury you? Buy life insurance.

  16. Benefits,Social Security,It is a hard earn Money.Death benefits for the loved one $255,it is an Insult on Human being,left behind.Worked,payed taxes.No Raise.on cost of leaving.Gas is Cheep,Does that account that every Retired person has in mind,every day?How about,the fact,Medication,Health insurance,car insurance,food Prices are Up.Did anyone In our Government research these facts?Medicaid recipient have many incentives ,free! Does these facts,compare to the Retired Seniors? Or do we need more equality and respect here.

  17. Social Security DOES NOT take care of the survivors. My husband became disabled and was approved for disability in June, but we had to wait 6 months to receive the benefits. We were barely able to survive on my paycheck, and he passed away 15 days before he was to receive his benefits, and yes, the benefits just disappeared. In order for me to collect on his disability, he had to have had collected his first check, which hadn’t come yet. He worked all his life and paid into social security, as have I. Neither of us were EVER recipients of welfare. It was HIS money, and now I am dealing with all the hospital bills and funeral expenses. Social Security Administration bets that you will die before you receive your benefits, and it happened. $255 isn’t much for his life.

  18. I have had Muliple Sclerosis for 16 years and started working at 16 years old. Went to college, earned a degree to become a Chef. Became a Chef managing 60 cooks serving 30,000 meals a day. I have two children: 6 years old (ADHD) and a 2 year old (Speech Delay). They currently receive benifits because mommy is sick and for that, I am grateful SSA helps take care of my babies when I can no longer. In the back of my mind, I thought my boys wouldn’t receive any benefits once I pass on..
    They have a long way to go before they reach 18 years old. Would they receive any help after that age, or before that age if my condition should make a turn for the worst?
    Does SSA assist with life insurance?
    I’m only 34 and never really thought cremation or buriel costs. Want to make sure my boys won’t struggle when I’m gone.

    • SS does not pay for life insurance, 255 and it is by application only. Your kids may get money on your work record up to age 18 should you not be around. You need to think about finding life insurance yourself now to pay for them now–a private policy as much as you can afford, but with your health it may be difficult or impossible to get.

    • Thank you for contacting us Carmen. Normally, benefits for children stop when children reach age 18, unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, Social Security benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first.
      Childhood disability benefits are also payable after reaching age 18, if the disability began before age 22.

  19. Carmen: Please check into life insurance now as the older you get the more in premiums you will have to pay. You will want to shop for a policy whose rate will never go up and be wise and purchase as much insurance as you can afford. At your age you can get policies for as cheap as $10.00 or less each month. Shop around and look at the offers from different companies. Make sure you contact your local SS office for any questions you have concerning benefits your sons would receive should anything happen to you.

  20. My wife Betty Sorge Avery died on Jan. 18th 2016 so I contacted Social Security and let them know. She was suppose to receive her December 2015 Social Social Security check on Jan. 23rd 2016.

    I contacted Social Security in Feb and let them know I had not received her December Social Security check
    for $819. I provided copies of her Birth certificate,our Marriage License and Her Death certificate which they ask for. This is April 14th and was wondering if I should contact them again?

    • We are sorry to hear about your loss Mr. Avery. You should have completed an SSA-1724 Form, “Claim for Amount Due in the Case of a Deceased Beneficiary”, along with the documents you mentioned. The request is then sent to our payment center for processing. You can call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask one of our representatives for an update, or contact the local office directly. Thanks

      • Good luck Mr Avery. My husband passed Jan 2, 2016 and SSA 1724 filed with all required documents and was told it was received 2/2/2016. Still can’t get an answer when December 2015 payment will be paid. Calling the 800-772-1213 will get nothing but a different answer each time you call. So sad it takes so long to get what’s owed and even sadder still, you get the run around from people who don’t care or have answers to your questions, 30 to 45 days, 5 months, after you get a letter, has processed, is pending, I’ve heard it all! Good luck with your update. And honestly the 1724 form is a formality SSA knows your family member has passed.

  21. IÑ 1979 my husband died of a heart attack, he had retired on disability and was drawing a social security check… My husband b
    died in the bed with me… AT the time, we had lived together for seven years and legally married for five months before his death and was told by as that I was not legally married long enoth which would have to be nine months. I still do not have a legal right to see his file

  22. I’m thinking of moving to Alabama from Florida, where I’ve lived all my life, how do I transfer my disability, and food assistance to another State ,or will it fallow me as , or “IF” I move, I’ve been handicapped since 1975, and it took most of my life to get my disability,I didn’t get it until 2013. it was most difficult, they say ,I fell into the cracks of the system…and quite a few other reasons that were very frustrating to say the least, I had a spinal injury [1975]and left me paralyzed on the right side for ever, how would a person fake that??? anyway, I get my small check,[6K/yr.] and I would be devastated to lose it, for any reason. I cannot afford to lose it now that I’m nearly 60….it’s not much, but I try to manage…

  23. I started receiving my Social Security Benefits several years ago, “after” my full retirement age, and have also continued to work. I am planning to retire this year.

    My wife will be 62 this year; her full retirement age is 66.
    If she applies for reduced benefits on her own retirement or as spousal benefits, how would this affect her future benefits at her full retirement age as a widow if I should pre-decease her? Would those benefits be reduced also? And, if I should pre-decease her before she reaches her full retirement age of 66 and she is collecting reduced benefits at the time and those benefits were “deemed”to be spousal benefits, would she be forced to take a reduced widow’s benefit until she reached her full retirement age of 66 and if so would she be able to collect the “full” widows benefit on my earnings or would that amount continue to be reduced?

    One more question, please; as we are trying to contemplate our best strategy as well as preparing as much as possible for the unexpected. In the above scenario, it she were “deemed” to be applying for her own reduced retirement benefit at age 62 instead of reduced spousal benefits, would the same rules apply as above, if I pre-decease her before her full retirement age of 66, as well as/or after I should pre-decease her “after” she reaches her full retirement age?

    I am sorry, but all of this is kind of confusing and we are not sure about how to proceed. The extra income of reduced benefits at this time with the economy as it is would make quite a difference in our retirement; however, not at he expense of making a future spousal retirement mistake.

    Thank you for your consideration in explaining this so we will be better able to understand and prepare.

    • The reduction factors are permanently applied to all benefits an individual may qualify for once they opt to start benefits at age 62 or at any time prior to their full retirement age. Next, when a person is eligible to more than one benefit at the same time, that person’s benefit amount can never exceed the highest single benefit amount to which that person is entitled. Your wife may still be eligible to collect reduced benefits on your record. Remember, if someone is eligible for both, his or her own benefit and for benefits as a spouse, we always pay their own first. If their spousal benefits are higher than their own retirement benefits, he or she will get a combination of benefits equaling the higher spouse benefit. See our Retirement Planner: Benefit For Your Spouse for more information. In many cases, a widow can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate (as early as 60 years old) and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate. Click here to get additional information about Widow’s Benefits. Please bear in mind that the decision on when to apply for benefits is a personal one. We can only provide you with the information to help you make the best choice according to your own situation. If you have specific questions, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and speak with one of our representatives. We hope this information helps!

  24. my grandmother passed away in march of 2014 from Alzheimer’s at the age of 87, I was told by my mom that her body was donated to science.. how can I find what day she died when there is no death certificate and when my mom will not tell me when she died.. in hopes that you can help me, betty jane healy(nee: Blackwell)
    p.s.
    I know her name, DOB, spouse’s name and place of birth

  25. I am guarantor for my nephew’s social security benefits. I have been for over 10 years. The boy’s mother passed away at the end of last year and they were awarded more benefits due to her death. Their father whom was divorced from their mother whom has not worked enough to draw ss benefits on his own has hit 62 and filed for social security benefits off of her account. This has decreased the amount of benefits the boys receive by a 1/3 of what they were getting. How can this happen? I understand the premise behind it but have questionable doubt about the longevity of the marriage to be less than the more than 10 years. Please advise as to how to proceed with showing this information to Social Security.

  26. I am currently receiving survivors benefits from my husband who passed away 2 years ago. my question is,could I pause those benefits until I reach retirement age work full time then restart benefits?

    • Hi Lynetta. You certainly may be able to pause your widows benefit and continue to work. However, it’s important to note that you may still be able to receive some or all of your survivors benefits at the same time that you are working. If you are younger than full retirement age and make more than the yearly earnings limit, we will reduce your benefit. For 2016 that limit is $15,720. When you exceed this amount, we reduced or withheld benefits accordingly. Also, when you receive benefits as a widow, you can switch to your own retirement benefit as early as age 62. This assumes you are eligible for retirement benefits and your retirement rate is higher than your rate as a widow. You can learn more about getting benefits while working when you read our publication “How Work Affects Your Benefits”. In your situation, we suggest that you speak to one of our agents. Call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or contact your local Social Security office directly.

  27. What are the talents for s divorced spouse to receive survivor benefits? When my ex wife died in 2003, I called to inquire for myself and for the two minor children we had from that marriage. I was told there was nothing for meet but the children would get a monthly check till age 18. Does the 10 year marriage requirement pertain only to length of marriage or can the divorced spouse quality regardless of length of marriage of they are caring for minor children as a result of that marriage. I’m not sure if that makes sense or I am being clear please let me know if you need further information and of course if someone could clarify this matter for me, thank you.

    • Thank you for contacting us Benjamin. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who dies, and your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you could get benefits just the same as a widower. You can be eligible for reduced benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled). If at the time of your ex-wife’s death – you were caring for a child or children under the age of 16, you would not have to meet the length-of-marriage rule. However, if you qualify because you have the worker’s children in your care, your benefit will affect the amount of the benefits the children receive in that same record. Benefits for family members have always been limited by the family maximum rules, meaning that there’s a limit to the amount that family members can receive each month. The maximum family benefit is the maximum monthly amount that can be paid on a worker’s earnings record. Also, if you work, there are limits on how much beneficiaries can earn while they receive benefits.
      We are confident that our agents provided the best alternative for you and the children at the time. If you have additional questions, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday to Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. We hope this helps information helps.

  28. What are the requirements not talents for a divorced parent caring for children of the marriage with regards to survivor benefits.

  29. I do have a question that has been weighing over my shoulders for 10 years.
    I was 22 when I had my son, he was born in 2005. His father was never around and unfortunately he was murdered in 2008. My sons father was only 24. Just turned 24. He died on his birthday😢 there was a child support order in place but we never received anything. When u learned about his passing I was told to apply for survivor benefits for my son. So I did and I was told that since he didn’t have enough work credits ( he needed 6) he only had 1. Well unfortunately my son wouldn’t get no help.
    Okay, I do understand working and paying in, I get that. Trust me, my parents were very strict on my sis and I on getting a job asap (when we were old enough) I started working at 14 and still of course only 32! Now I have enough work credits if the roles were reversed. I understand the rules I honestly do, but I do feel like there has to be something out there for kids in this same situation. Now a days you need a 2person income to make ends meat. It has been ME since Day one being the full time mom/dad, the sole provider! Our life has been very rough and it just doesn’t seem to get any easier. Yes we do get other help in our state to help us, with our day by day needs. And I’m beyond greatly for the assistance. But I don’t want to depend on those programs. I want to be the one who can provide for my son and I. Ive done everything possible to get us to a manageable life. Working 2-3 jobs at a time for many years, I don’t ask for help I have to much pride. Plus we really don’t have much family just my dad/papa. My sons father’s family NEVER was in his life so its honestly been myself and my boy. I gave my son anything he wanted he is spoiled! He has and will always come first. When he was 4 I noticed he had such a temper and just so angry. So that was another struggle with that. Many doctors, many specialist, many appointments, therapist, counseling, etc. Etc. I didn’t give up I kept going and I still won’t stop until my son is happy and doesn’t feel so mad, and learns to control his temper. He was diagnosed with ADHD, ODD, mood disorder. Like I said it had been a very tough life for the past 10 years on my own. Many tears, many break downs, but I can’t give up. I even went to college after 10 years being out of high school. I did amazing in school. I was so focused and determined to succeed! I got my A.A degree in health care administration and guess what? All that work was a waste. Couldn’t find a job. I DONT HAVE EXPERIENCE. Those are the famous words. Any idea how heartbreaking that is to keep pushing and pushing to try to make a decent life for myself and my son but its been one thing after another always pushing us way back. In all honest it does boil down to money. I don’t have the funds, to have a stable life or one that I could provide. We will always be struggling and how much of that can one person take? If my son was able to get survivor benefits it would have been a BLESSING! But no, just cause my sons father chose NOT to work that is my fault? Its bull crap if you ask me. And I tried to fight this by contacting my local mayor and getting ahold of the state officals and explain this situation that there are many kids in this world how are going through exactly what we are. They need to be protected and there needs to be some financial support for the children who has lost a parent.

  30. I am 50 years old I am a surviving divorced spouse. I was married to my ex for 18 years we divorced in 2004 he died in 2009. My question is if I get married next year at age 51 will I lose his survivors benefits because I remarry before age 60. Thank you for your advice. I really need to know I do want to get married again

  31. My father passed away June 13 2016. I was informed, I do not get $255.00 because I don’t meet the requirements. Thanks missouri for helping me and my family out in a great time of need. Thanks for letting me know your all about keeping your hands on that jar and screwing the elderly and people in need. Thanks for keeping everyone poor!!

  32. My son age 25 died on July 8, 2016. On June 4, 2016 he got married. His wife who is 26 is told she will not qualify for survivor benefits nor will she be able to get the $255.00 Lump sum benefit because they were not married 9 months. What is a young widow to do/ maybe the system should consider these people as well.

  33. Thank you for providing assistance to so many! I do understand I will make the decisions, but I have to have the facts on my options and I continue to get conflicting information. My husband died in 2007, we were married 26 years. I am 58, never remarried and work full time. What are my options related to widows benefits (under his account of course)? One source stated I could start as early as my age 60, and the amount would be reduced based on my earnings (the limit could be different from the amt stated for 2016) and even continue when I am FRA which is 66.8, but at that time, there would be no reduction based on any income I may have, and then at my age 70.5 ish, I would switch to my own retirement since it would be higher. Today, I was told nope – once I reach age 62, which is ‘early retirement age’, I HAVE to switch to my own retirement account IF I want to continue to receive any benefits( if I am no longer working of course).
    This is very confusing. And I was told I could not even schedule an appointment in person to talk about this since I am under age 60. How can anyone plan without the correct information?
    Thanks so much!
    Cynthia

    • Hi Cynthia, based on your years of marriage, you seem to be eligible for reduced widow’s benefits at age 60. You could still work and receive your Social Security retirement benefits at the same time. However, if you are younger than full retirement age and making more than the yearly earnings limit, your wages can reduce the number of payments you receive through the year. You may continue to work and keep all of your benefits, no matter how much you earn, when you attain your full retirement age. If a person receives widow’s benefits, and will qualify for a retirement benefit that is more than her survivors benefit, she can switch to her own retirement benefit as early as age 62 or as late as age 70. Our system can only take applications three months in advance, we ask that you use our resources and the information we provide through our website. If you are not able to visit your local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday but you will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  34. Thank you so much for the information! I would love to discuss this in person, but I was told I had to be 60 before I could make an appointment. Maybe that really means, I can meet in person, but I just have to sit and take a number. I was also told that once I reached age 62 I had no choice and had to switch or stop attempting to receive any benefits. My desire is to work full time until 70.5 and then retire. I am just trying to find out if I can attempt to receive benefits (taking into consideration my earnings of course), as a widow, until I want to request benefits from my own account. One resource says YES and another says NO – that once I each 62 (‘early retirement’) that means I have to switch to my benefits if I want to continue to attempt to receive benefits. Thanks!

  35. If a negligent parent is collecting the survivor benefit can the child receive the benefit directly when they turn 18 and are still in school? The 18 year old is not disabled. I’m asking as their high school principal on behalf of the surviving child.

    • Thank you for your question Danny. Generally, we convert a student child beneficiary to direct pay when the beneficiary attains age 18, as long as the beneficiary is capable of managing his or her own benefits. If you think that someone is misusing Social Security benefits, we ask that you report it to us immediately. For more information, visit our “FAQs For Beneficiaries Who Have A Payee” webpage.

  36. Been waiting over 3 months for the $255. lump sum payment from the death of my husband. We were both drawing social security and have no children. How long does it take to get the money?

    • We are sorry to hear about your loss Jennie. Generally, you do not need to file an application for survivors’ benefits, or the Lump Sum Death Payment, if you are already getting benefits on your spouse’s record. However, if you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record, you must file an application. If you already applied, please continue working directly with your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance with your case. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • I would also like to know an approximate time frame for receiving the Lump Sum Death Payment. I have not been waiting three months, However I did apply for the Lump Sum Death Payment and received a benefit approval letter which stated that I would be receiving a check for the benefit. I would just like to know long that process should take.

        • Thank you for your question Mia. You should receive the payment shortly after you receive the approval letter. If you provided direct deposit information, the payment would be deposited into your bank account. For follow up information, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  37. My daughters father died over 11 years ago, at the time he was 21 (he had not worked a whole lot but did work some), I tried to get benefits and was denied because not enough credits. That was 11 years ago. Has anything changed? It’s been so hard doing it all on my own 🙁

    • Rules remain the same Bethany. However, there are social services available from your state. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services. Or you can visit the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information. We hope this information helps!

  38. Thank you so much for the information! I would love to discuss this in person, but I was told I had to be 60 before I could make an appointment. Maybe that really means, I can meet in person, but I just have to sit and take a number? I was also told that once I reached age 62 I had no choice and had to switch or stop attempting to receive any benefits. My desire is to work full time until 70.5 and then retire. I am just trying to find out if I can attempt to receive benefits (taking into consideration my earnings of course), as a widow, until I want to request benefits from my own account. One resource says YES and another says NO – that once I each 62 (‘early retirement’) that means I have to switch to my benefits if I want to continue. What is the correct statement about continuing to receive survivor benefits until I am 70.5 or any age after 62 or 63/64/65/66/67/68/69? Thanks!

    • Thank you for your question Cynthia. As a widow, you can receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60. (age 50 or over if you are disabled). When you receive benefits as a widow, you can switch to your own retirement benefit as early as age 62. In many cases, a widow can begin receiving one benefit at a reduced rate and then, at full retirement age, switch to the other benefit at an unreduced rate. The rules can seem complicated and it is a good idea that you speak with one of our representatives either by phone or in the local Social Security office. Also, if you are planning on working while you receive Social Security benefits, and you know that if you make more than the yearly limit, your earnings may reduce your benefit amount, you may want to read our publication: How Work Affects Your Benefits for more information. We encourage you to call us at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. You will generally have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day or later in the week. Hope this helps!

  39. I lost my spouse in 2010 at the age of 26. We did not have any children and had been married for 4 years. Is there any benefit I should or could have been eligible for other than the one-time pay out of $255? He was my provider and no money could ever replace him. Even though we did not have children, we both still had a home. I just really think it is unfair that I only receive $255 of what he paid into Social Security. Any advice or insight as to if any other options are available would be greatly appreciated.

  40. i am collecting ssdi .i became disabled after my wife died. i made more money than she did. she was collecting ssdi at the time of her death. will i be able to collect widower benefits

    • Thank you for your question Greg. If you already receive Social Security benefits, you can only apply for benefits as a widower if the benefit amount you receive is less than the benefits you would receive as a survivor. You need to contact your local Social Security office or call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 , ( TTY 1-800-325-0778) to learn how much you could receive on the other record. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m

  41. Our permanently disabled son (born with Down Syndrome) with 17 year record making social security payments as a worker and later receiving SSDI died at age 52 December, 2016. He had no dependents. Is his (estate) eligible for the $255 death payment.

    • We are sorry for your loss Jack. The lump-sum payment can only be paid to the surviving spouse. If there’s no eligible surviving spouse, the lump-sum can then be paid to the worker’s child (or children).

  42. hello. my kids dad passed away this year. I don’t have his name on their birth certificate so when i applied for survivors benefits for our youngest they told me to have a paternity test done using his sample at the medical examiners office. I did and it matched. The guy who interviewed me told me my son is eligible to get 1k a month i was happy because i can finally get rid of 1 of my jobs to spend time with my kids. I work 3 jobs and I only see them 30 mins in the morning and 30 mins at night. I only spend one full day with them which is sunday my only day off. So after two hours the guy who interviewed me called me to tell me theres a problem and he needed additional evidence of paternity like court ordered child support, hospital religious or school records signed by him or letters from him claiming that our son is his. I only have pictures of him with my son. He sent me letters through Facebook saying he loves our kids. His parents and relatives are willing to write letter saying he is the father and how he was to us when he was still alive. The guy said he’s not sure if thats acceptable. I didn’t file for child support because he scared me. He told me he don’t know what he will do to me if i did. He was abusive towards me. Everytime I opened up about adding his name on our kids birth certificate, he will scream at me, shove me and call me names in front of the kids. i have a lot of police reports and no contact orders. When my son was 1 year old he put him in the car while he was heavily drunk.. He was an alcoholic. I called the police on him and i really stood my ground and told him i don’t want him in our life. I apply for state assistance but they want me to name him but i beg them not to go after him for child support because I wanna stay alive for my kids. After he got out of jail I slept with knife for months and barricaded the door with furnitures.I always saw him driving around my place spying on us. That is why I didn’t file for child support. The guy said he needs proof that he was supporting my kids financially. he will give 50 100 every now and then but not documented and consistent so i said no to the guy because he stole from me too. Even if he gave me money he will steal more than how much he gave me and even pawned our oldest video games for alcohol. My oldest was in counseling because of him. He was never married but he has another child which got approved. Is there hope for my kid to get the benefits. He is a special need kid and i have good reasons not to file for child support i can bring documents with me like police reports and no contact orders. i searched online and i read some success stories but not a lot and asked my friend with situation as i am. his sons dad never claimed his son as his but she fought it and his son is getting benefits.I just wanna make sure. my kids have been in the backseat long enough. thank you

    • Unfortunately, your situation is a bit more complex than we can answer in this forum. However, you have the right to file an application for benefits and receive an official denial of your claim from Social Security, which will provide you with appeals rights, if in case you wish to seek legal advice to verify our decision. It will also establish a protective filing date for benefits. Please continue working with your local office. If you are unable to visit your local servicing office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  43. My spouse passed away on the last day of November 2016. Technically he was alive the whole month. I called to inquirer about his November 2016 check that was not deposited into our saving account. I was told that I’m not entitled to that check because he didn’t live the whole month. I’m confused, and asked for the rules and regulations. I was told to go to a web site from Utah. I need a New Jersey web site this is the state that I reside in. What do you think?

    • We are sorry to hear of your loss Katherine! This may not be the news you were hoping to hear, but we wanted you to hear it straight from us. To be eligible for Social Security benefits, a person has to live throughout the entire month to receive his or her check. Therefore, when a person passes away, Social Security benefits are not payable for the month in which a beneficiary dies. This applies whether the person dies on the first or the last day of the month. Please read How Social Security Can Help You When A Family Member Dies or visit our Survivors Benefits web page for more information.

  44. How long should it take to process a claim for surviving spouse benefits, both monthly and the lump-sum? My husband passed November 2016. He was still working, not drawing SS. I am unemployed. I applied on 12/7/2016 and my claim is still pending! He was the sole breadwinner for us. I need the monthly income to get started asap! So far, my claim is still in the “Processing” phase. When I called to question it, the explanation given to me is that I filed in December which is a month that many claims processors take 1-2 weeks of vacation! Really?!!! I’m supposed to sit here waiting on my much-needed monthly income request to be processed and the ones that are responsible for that are on 1-2 weeks vacation?!!! Hope they had fun because I sure am not!
    Oh, as a consolation remark, she happily informed me that when I did get the monthly payments started, I would get paid back to the first eligible date. WooHoo! In the meantime …

    • We are sorry to hear about your husband’s loss, and apologize for this inconvenience. For security reasons, we do not have access to personal records via this blog. Please continue working with your local office and know you can request to speak with the local office manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. If you are unable to visit your local servicing office, you may call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7:00a.m. and 7:00p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

  45. What would be a reason my children’s survivor benefit amount would decrease? I noticed that after getting a set amount each month for the past year and 9 months, each child’s benefit amount decreased by $370. I will call the office this week, but I was just wondering if this has happened to anyone else & why? I didn’t think child survivor benefits could decrease unless they turned 18/19 and graduated high school. None of that applies to my situation yet.

    • Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please contact your local Social Security office or call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks!

  46. Regarding the survivor’s benefit, I was married for 15 years. We divorced and he passed away in 2015. I remarried in 2014, but my husband filed for a divorce. I am currently 55. Once divorced, and when I turn 60 will I be able to file for a survivor benefits?

    • Hi Jan. Generally a claimant for widow’s or surviving divorced spouse’s benefits must be unmarried in order to be entitled. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who dies, you could get benefits just the same as a widow, provided that your marriage lasted 10 years or more. You can apply for reduced benefits as early as age 60 (50 if disabled). We hope this information helps!

  47. My husband passed away. He was 63. My daughter is 17 and will not graduate until after she is 18. Are we eligible for survivor benefits?

    • We are sorry for your loss Norma. Normally, Benefits for Children stop when children reach age 18, unless they are disabled. However, if the child is still a full-time student at a secondary (or elementary) school at age 18, Social Security benefits will continue until the child graduates or until two months after the child becomes age 19, whichever is first. You may be eligible for widow’s benefits at age 60 (50 if disabled). If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday. You can also contact your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone.

  48. my wife of 7 and half years died. We have 3 children. She never worked. I cannot get any benefits from social security because of this. She worked at raising our children and provided daycare for our children for the 7 and half years we were married. Seems kind of unfair I am left with no help because she didn’t work for the little bit of credits required before she died. I believe this needs to change as I have no help from the government in survivor benefits. If she would of worked some small part time job before she died, I would of had help. Very angry about this.

  49. My dad died this december 25, 2016 his 69years old ….. just want to ask if i can get a benefit from his Social Security at my age 43 yrs old?

    • We are sorry for your loss Anthony. Generally, Survivors Benefits can be paid to the beneficiary’s minor children and the surviving spouse of the deceased. An adult disabled before age 22 may be eligible for child’s benefits if a parent is deceased. We consider this a “child’s” benefit because it is paid on a parent’s Social Security earnings record. We hope this information helps answering your question.

  50. Good evening-

    Question re: SSA-1724 (Claim for amounts due in the case of a deceased social security recipient). Deceased was 77 yrs old & divorced. No minor/dependent children. Predeceased by 2 adult children with 2 adult children remaining. Died with a will in place writing out 1 adult surviving child and naming a Personal Representative (non-child) for estate. Waiting for Probate Court to approve Personal Representative. Who fills out the form & receives amounts due from Social Security (remaining adult child(ren) and/or grandchildren or the Personal Representative for the Estate?

    • Hi, Karen. Thanks for your question. We may pay amounts due a deceased beneficiary to a family member or legal representative of the estate. For more information on the order of preference and to file a claim for the amounts due in the case of a deceased beneficiary, please visit our webpage titled: Claim For Amounts Due In The Case Of Deceased Beneficiary. Please take or send the completed form to your local Social Security office. If you have any questions, call us toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the day. We hope this information is helpful.

  51. My father passed away last August. I am disabled and my mother and I are to get mother’s and disabled adult child benefits off my father’s record. We have yet to get the benefit we were told we would receive, I’m still just getting SSI while my mother works her low-paying job.

    My mother called the national hotline 3 times already, first time in January being told a urgent notice was put in by the local office and that we are approved just not finished processing, another urgent notice put in. 2nd call was told it’s taking long cause it’s a complicated case and there’s many layers to go through but it’s the last layer with the payroll department, another urgent notice put in. 3rd time my mother called in February and was told it’s going to a supervisor, shouldn’t have to call again. It’s been over 2 weeks since that last call. It just seems calling does no help at all, and I don’t if the local office can help at the point it’s at? Is there anything that can be done, it’s been 7 months since my father’s death?

    • Hi, David. We are sorry to hear about your unpleasant experience and understand your frustration. For your security, we do not have access to personal information in this venue. Please continue working with your local office, and if necessary, ask to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation. Thanks!

  52. Im going to try this again to see If I can get an answer.
    my wife of 7 and half years died. We have 3 children. She never worked. I cannot get any benefits from social security because of this. She worked at raising our children and provided daycare for our children for the 7 and half years we were married. Seems kind of unfair I am left with no help because she didn’t work for the little bit of credits required before she died. I believe this needs to change as I have no help from the government in survivor benefits. If she would of worked some small part time job before she died, I would of had help. Very angry about this. Is this true my children cannot get survivor benefits because my wife had no work credits?
    Thanks for the response.

    • We are sorry for your loss Brian, our apologies if we missed your question before. The number of credits you need to have family members be eligible for survivors benefits depends on your age when you die. The younger you are, the fewer credits you need, but nobody needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work). Under a special rule, we can pay benefits to your children and your spouse who is caring for the children, if you have credits for one and one-half year’s work (6 credits) in the three years just before your death. Credits are the “building blocks” we use to find out whether you have the minimum amount of covered work to qualify for each type of Social Security benefits. No benefits can be paid if you do not have enough credits. You have the right to file an application for benefits for your children and receive an official denial of your claim from Social Security, which will provide you appeals rights, if in case you wish to seek legal advice to verify our decision. If you have specific questions, or need further assistance, please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

      • Thank you for your reply, being a homemaker and care for the kids seems like a job that should be considered as credits. My situation is a very small percentage of cases. Thanks again.

  53. I am 52 years old, divorced for 9 years now was married to my ex husband for 21 years. He is now 71 and has been drawing social security for at least 5 years for him and our daughter as well as disability benefits from the VA (ARMY) since his ALS diagnosis last year. Our minor daughter is 11 and now resides with me full time. I am having financial difficulty taking care of her and trying to work full time. I may have to leave my job or change careers to take care of her, what if any am I entitled to? Thanks

  54. Was wondering I know someone who was only married for six years,and became a widow. Does she qualify for social security payments too? Her two children collect and their ages at the time of his death were three and five.He also has three other children too.

    • Hello Leatha. According to our Program Operations Manual (POMS), an applicant for surviving spouse benefits, must meet the 9 months duration-of-marriage requirement. Additionally, unmarried children can receive benefits if they are:
      • younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if they are attending elementary or secondary school full time);
      • any age and were disabled before age 22 and remain disabled.
      Under certain circumstances, benefits also can be paid to stepchildren, grandchildren, stepgrandchildren or adopted children. Hope this helps.

  55. My husband passed away in June 2016 and was collecting SSDI at the time of his death. We were legally married and living together when he passed away. I have a 22 year old stepson who collects Survivor benefits from my husband, who is his biological father, because my stepson is disabled according to the SSA. My stepson lives with me and I provide his care. He was awarded disability benefits by the SSA before age 22. It is my understanding that I should be eligible for Fathers-Mothers Survivor benefits as long as my husband and I were married at the time of his death and I provide care for his disabled adult child. According to SSA publications the disabled adult child must only be the biological child of the deceased, even if I have not adopted the disabled adult child. Am I correct that I should be eligible for benefits?

    • Unfortunately, your question is a bit more complex than we can answer in this forum. We will need more detail information about your situation. Please contact your local office or call 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you. Thanks.

  56. Our daughter recently passed away and we filed for her son to receive survivor benefits with us as the responsible party. There is no father. My question is do we qualify for the child in care benefit or is that only for spouses?

    Thanks

  57. My sister died, left money in the bank for me.
    To get a death certificate I need a Social security number. I contact social security told I need a death certificate as it stands I can not obtain either.

  58. How can a ex recieve your husbands benefits when the have thier own and you have no income but have to wait until your a certain age and she is younger then you how is that fair

    • Hi, Lucy. To be eligible for divorced spouse benefits, the former spouse had to be married to your husband for at least 10 years, be age 62 or older and she cannot be eligible for a higher benefit on her own record. Also, the amount of benefits she receives as a divorced spouse has no effect on the amount of benefits your husband or you, the current spouse, may receive. As for you, you may be able to get spouse’s retirement benefits if you are at least 62 years of age and your spouse is receiving retirement or disability benefits. We hope this helps.

  59. My mother passed away back in 1993 when I was only 14 years old. I was never able to claim the survivor benefits is it still of claiming that benefit?

    • Mary, your question is more complex than we can address in this forum. You will need to contact your local office, or call our toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213, and speak to one of our representatives. Representatives at our toll free number are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks.

    • We are sorry to hear of your loss Geneva. Generally, the lump-sum death payment, is paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household with the worker when they died. There may be other survivor’s benefits involved. You must contact us to apply for survivor’s benefits, by calling our national toll-free service at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) or by visiting your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to apply. We hope this helps.

      • Dear Sir,
        I’m 55 years old and my husband just passed away. I work, but could you tell me would I qualify for his social security, or anything? I’m scared about being able to make ends meet financially and don’t know what to do. Thank you.

        • We are sorry to hear of the loss of your husband Ann. Usually, the funeral director will report the person’s death to Social Security. However, it is important to let us know when a person dies as soon as possible. In addition to a Lump-Sum Death Payment, you may also be eligible for reduced widow’s benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if you are disabled). At this time, we do not offer an online application for survivors benefits. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. You can also contact your local Social Security office directly. For more information, please read our publication How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies. Thank you.

          • My husband die aug 30 2017 how do I reserve the 255.00 for death benefit please need help on this !!!!

          • We are sorry to hear about your loss, Lisa. If your husband worked long enough to be insured under Social Security, you may be eligible for the Lump-Sum Death Payment. Also, you may be eligible for Survivor’s Benefits. At this time, we do not offer an online application for survivor’s benefits. Please call 1-800-772-1213 to report the death and to apply for benefits. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. You can also contact your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. For more information, please read How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies. Thank you.

  60. I am 44 years old and have 2 children, ages 9 and 12. My wife, their mother is dying. She is 38. Am I correct in understanding that due to our age I would receive 75% of her social security as a widower? In addition, would our children each receive and amount as well?
    Thank you.

    • We are sorry to hear about your wife’s medical condition Elmer. A widow or widower caring for a child under age 16, could receive 75 percent of the worker’s benefit amount. Click here to see examples of the benefits that survivors may receive. Please visit our Survivors Planner web page, for additional information. Thanks.

  61. I just recently lost my mother on the first, and i need to know if there is anything i can do, my dad is over the age of 62, but he only gets social security, which is barely 500 dollars, my mother was 75% of the income due to me fighting for disibility right now, im 28 years old and i dont know if either me or him can get survivors benefits or anything to help us before we lose everything, *note* he was not married to my mother, but together for 35 years

    • Hello Shane. We are sorry to hear of your loss. In cases where a common-law marriage may be involved, Social Security follows the state laws. To get survivors or spouses benefits you generally must live in a state that recognizes common-law marriage. Please check the laws in your state. For further assistance, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

    • Hi, Wendy. Unfortunately, you cannot request a benefit verification letter online for another person, such as a spouse or child. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or visit your local Social Security office directly. Thanks!

  62. Hello,
    My son passed away in March of 2017. Four children are currently receiving his death benefit. One of the children has been adopted by the biological mother’s new husband. My son was listed on the birth certificate as the father. Neither parent took DNA test even though there was suspicion by son he may not be the father. After their split, the mother never pursued child support. This is concerning to me as she would know DNA test would be done. Now that my son is deceased, I am questioning how do I request SS to pursue DNA testing to verify he is in deed my son’s child? I believe it needs to be proven, so that the other 3 children would receive and increased benefit if the one child is truly not my son’s child. In my opinion it would be fraudulent if a child who is not the biological child of my son is receiving his death benefit. Please advise. Thank you!

    • We are sorry for your loss, Ronald. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office. To verify this information was reported, and to see if you are eligible for survivor’s benefits, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or you can contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks.

  63. I am a divorced spouse was married 16 years. I was getting disability and he made more than I did so I applied and got approved. payments should run 475. a month. The question is since I didnt know that I was eligible until this year. and I have been divorced and unmarried since 2010. Shouldnt I get back pay back to my divorce date.?

    • Hi Debra and thank you for your question. Individuals must officially file an application to receive the Social Security benefits they may be entitled to. Also, we generally allow up to six months of retroactivity payments, only after the applicant has reached his or her full retirement age. No retroactive benefits are payable for any month before individuals reach their full retirement age. Please visit our web page, “If You Are Divorced” for more information on this topic.
      Unfortunately, but for your security, we do not have access to personal information in this blog. In your situation, it is best to contact your local office or to call our toll free telephone number at 1-800-772-1213 and speak to one of our agents. Representatives are available Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  64. I wish it were that easy. I have been a widow for 7 years and I was able to start collecting survivor benefits 6 years ago. However, I have been treated badly by some of the agents I have dealt with over the past 7 years. It’s hard enough trying to make ends meet, but would it be so bad to have someone from the agency there to help instead of insult, degrade and humiliate you year after year. Agent’s always have a different answer. I am sending my case to my local Congressman to see if he can get me some answers. Fighting for what you are entitled to is an insult to the memory of my late husband.

  65. Social Security deposited checks in to my dads account and we used it to pay for his cremation, then they turned around and withdrew the money one day later. THEY ARE NOT THERE FOR YOU!

  66. My dad is a widower
    He is dating someone who is 59 he is 83
    She wants to marry him keeps asking when
    What is the rule/law if they marry and my dad passes
    Away in 1-2 years his health ok right now*
    Does she collect his social security..
    Edna r

    • Thank you for your question Edna. A surviving spouse can start receiving widow’s benefits at age 60 (age 50 if disabled). Generally, a surviving spouse must meet a 9 -months duration-of-marriage requirement. We hope this information helps.

  67. When i was 17 years old my dad died and he was drawing ssi. I only received one check after his death and then ssi cut the check off. Is there anyway to receive the rest of the due amount now

    • Hi Mark. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our agents should be able to answer your questions about this matter. You can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

    • Who gets this money when I croak some smart ass that works for SS am I paying to keep them employed? HMM it smells pretty wrong to me. I call on the government to take a look at this fleecing of Americans, how much interest is being earned off of Social Security. If this is not thievery then what is ? You make me pay all my life and when I die you just keep it are you kidding me!!!!

  68. Hard to reach you by phone. I need to let you know that my father died at 3:02 am on January, 09,2018
    Alexander, John, SON
    Dob:10.13.1926 in IASI,ROMANIA
    SSN:*** – ** – ***
    Address:8608 SEAYS Rd.,SPOTSYLVANIA,Va
    ,22551

    • We are sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog.
      Usually, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office.
      Generally when calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you will experience a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

  69. I am a service connected veteran 70% my wife has passed away from cancer and was on ssid. I was told I can apply for her benefits and collect them.

    • We are sorry for your loss, Robert. As a widower you may start receiving reduced benefits as early as age 60 (age 50 if disabled AND the disability started before or within seven years of your spouse’s death).
      As for disability benefits, please keep in mind that the Social Security Act sets out a very strict definition of disability, much different than the requirements for other government programs including veteran’s benefits. We use the same definition of disability for widows and widowers as we do for workers.
      Disability benefits are paid to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. Social Security pays only for total disability. No benefits are payable for partial disability or short-term disability.
      You cannot apply online for survivor’s benefits. To see if you’re eligible or to make an appointment, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.

  70. Can I recieve money from losing my child, and parents..I was told I could from losing my parents but I dont know if I can from lising my son? Supposedly $250?

    • We’re very sorry for your loss, James. In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to Social Security.
      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online. If you need to report a death, or to see if you qualify for any benefits, you must contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY 1-800-325-0778). Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Thanks.

    • We are very sorry to hear of your loss. We pay disability benefits to people who are unable to work because of a medical condition that is expected to last one year or more or to end in death. However, if a person believes they are disabled and meets our definition of disability, we encourage them to apply for disability starting from when they became disabled. You can apply online, which is quick and easy.
      You can also apply by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. Or you can contact your local Social Security office directly.
      For more information visit our “Frequently Asked Questions” web page on disability. Thanks.

  71. My husband died 2/19/18, I as well as the funeral director notified Social Security, I received a check for my husband for March, am I entitled to this check, it was direct deposited. My husband is Michael Taurino

    • We are sorry for your loss, Janice. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months.
      Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies in February, you must return the benefit paid in March.
      Sometimes the bank will return the Social Security payments when they’re notified of the beneficiary’s passing.
      To see if you’re eligible for survivor’s benefits, call us at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Or contact the local office directly. Thanks.

  72. My name is Rose O’Rourke, from New Jersey (South Jersey) and I am trying to locate the state where my aunt died….Her name was Emma Heimack, bor 12/14/1915 in Philadelphia, Pa…she married in 1935 and her marriage name was Hettich….I believe she died late 80’s or in the 1990’s….I have exhausted every resource I can find…I believe she may have been cremated and buried with others…Thank you for any help you can give….Rose

  73. I would have filed for this directly upon my father’s death in 2003 but had no idea this existed. I think it’s horrible that simply because we weren’t notified or told about this at that time that there is a 2 year limit for filing for the $255! SS should be forced to disclose and alert a family member when notified of the death of someone on SS, that this benefit exists and how to file. Staying silent should be a crime and probably leaves tens of thousands w/o knowing about this fact and therefore saves SS from having to pay out what they should.

  74. How do I apply for the one time payment of $255 for my brothers death. He died 2/8/18. I am his sister. I have given the SSA office in Greenbelt Maryland a copy of his death certificate. I am also the administrator of his estate.

  75. My ex husband passed away two months ago at the age of 67. We were married for over 10 years and I know I’m qualified to draw his benefits at the age of 62. I am 55 years old and I am on Social Security disability does the fact that I’m on Social Security Disability make me eligible to draw of his social security before the age of 62. Someone told me that you could do it at the age of 50

    • Hello Linda. If you are the divorced spouse of a worker who dies, you could get benefits just the same as a widow or widower, provided that your marriage lasted 10 years or more. A widow (surviving divorced spouse), could begin to receive benefits as early as age 50 if she is disabled and the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.
      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or contact your local Social Security office directly. Thanks!

  76. I am 57 years old and I was married for 20 years we are now divorced. I am on Social Security disability and he is on Social Security he is also a veteran. when can I start drawing from his benefits.. neither one of us have ever remarried

    • Hello Jan, you may be able to receive benefits on your ex-spouse’s record at age 62 if:
      • You were married to your ex-spouse for at least 10 years;
      • You are unmarried;
      • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and,
      • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse’s work.
      For more information, please visit our Retirement Planner: If You Are Divorced. Thanks!

  77. How can I access my deceased father’s years of substantial earnings ? It’s information to help me determine whether I am eligible for the DAC program. I have a severe disability and would like to find out if it help me ?

  78. My niece just lost her mother. She is 22 and a full time student. Her father died in 2003. I was wondering what happens to her father’s social security benefits as her mother died also (she got remarried 2007). Does her deceased father’s social security benefits will not have any beneficiary in later date?

    • There may be survivor’s benefits for widows/widowers, surviving divorced spouses and children (in some cases step-children) of the deceased worker. If there are no eligible survivors the worker’s contributions stay in the Social Security trust fund. See our Benefits Planner: Survivors for more information. Thanks!

  79. AFTER MY HUSBANDS DEATH THE FUNERAL HOME CONTACTED SOCIAL SECURITY TO NOTIFY THEM OF HIS DEATH ON APRIL 8, 2018. I WOULD LIKE TO KNOW WHERE I SHOULD SEND THE CERTIFICATE OF DEATH? OR, IF I HAVE TO SEND IT AT ALL?

    PLEASE LET ME KNOW. THANK YOU.

    • We are sorry for your loss, Antoinette. Usually, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting their local Social Security office. To verify if this information was reported, and to see if you are eligible for any survivor’s benefits, you need to talk to a Social Security representatives.
      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online.
      Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Or you can also contact your local Social Security office. Thanks.

  80. I’m looking for my husbands 2014 yearly statement that shows if he would have become disabled what he would have earned. Ricky Max Smith DOB 8/7/55
    ↵SS# *** – ** – ***. Passed away 3/11/14 anyway you can email me this Thank you Brenda Smith SS ***-**-****

  81. How long should it take before the Administration makes payment to minor children of a deceased worker? What happens if the Administration “loses” the application and then finds it but states that benefits will not be paid for the immediate time after the death because the filing was “too late”?

  82. Hello! My sister died in 2012, I in my two children lived with her she was the care taker.. she had no husband or family except us, could I apply for her social security..
    She never used it..

  83. My husband of 3 years just passed away he was 58 and I will be 62 i do work but his income was needed. Can i draw social security from him now.

    • A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements. See “Information You Need To Apply For Lump Sum Death Benefit-form“.
      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online. We should be notified as soon as possible when a person dies.
      To see if you’re eligible for other Survivors Benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
      You can also contact your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. Thanks.

  84. I have called social security we were married 36 years when my husband died! I am 58 and was told to bad we are sorry your husband was the provider now you will have to work! Totally devastated I do work yet had to quit work to be my husbands caretaker and there is no help for a wife taking care of her husband! I want to keep my home is there any way I can claim bankruptcy and receive section 8 on my own home until I receive his benefits! I am desperate for help my husband worked hard paid slot into social security and I will only receive half which is fine yet I feel being with my husband for 39 years married 37 years I should receive some help to make it work for a year and a half! Please help me know what to do I am gonna try to get another job! I have health issues and if my doctor would help me file for disability which I really don’t want to do because I love my job and will work till I can no longer do it! I feel after 35 years of Matt a widow should have some help! This makes me a little mad because my dad married a twenty five year old and she had a baby to him stayed married for 10 years and tried to kill him and also a used him of abusing my 1/2 sister and she received my dads benefits because they had a child under 18! I have a child with my husband who is 35 so I have to suffer where is the fairness in this?

    • Thank you for your question. You should contact Social Security and report an individual’s death as soon as possible. In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to Social Security. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death and any later months.
      For example, if the person died in May, you must return the benefits paid in June. If benefits were paid by direct deposit, contact the bank or other financial institution. Request that any funds received for the month of death or later be returned to Social Security.
      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online.
      If you need to report a death, contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday.
      See our Benefits Planner: Survivors for more information. Thanks!

  85. What do I do when SS states my dead sons card number is wrong, when he used it all the time ? He was disabled .

    • Hello Arlea. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog and cannot answer your question at this time. One of our representatives should be able to provide you with guidance in regards to this situation.
      Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  86. My dad pasted away on 1-28-2017. I don’t believe that he received his Jan. benefit. I was wondering if you could look into this?
    His name was Kasimer R Schmalz
    his SS# was *** – ** – ***

    Any help would be appreciated.
    Thanks, Monte Schmalz

    • We are sorry to hear of your loss, Monte. Unfortunately, and because of security reasons we do not have access to personal records in this blog. One of our representatives should be able to assist you. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week.
      Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. For example, if the person dies in January, you must return the benefit paid in February.
      Just a reminder – Please be cautious about posting personal information on social media channels. Thank you.

    • Hello Larry. A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements. If you need to report a death or apply for survivors benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also visit your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. Thanks!

  87. if your spouse passes and your child has his last name ,and he signed the birth certificate but he is not his natural father,and he didn’t adopt ,can your child draw a social security check

    • Hello Margaret. Please see our publication: “Benefits for Children” for information on this topic. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213 for further assistance. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Thanks!

  88. My mother died on Sept. 12 2017. I was the executrix of her estate. I contacted Social Security to report her death and was advised she had her Aug. benefits still owed to her estate. I filled out form SSA-1724 and mailed it to the address given to me for our regional office. This was in Nov. 2017. I was told it would probably take several months after Jan. 2018. I have not heard anything and whenever I try to contact Social Security by phone I get hung up on with a message saying they’re busiest in the beginning of the month and early in the morning. Doesn’t matter that it’s the middle of the month in the afternoon. It’s sickening how the government wants it’s money immediately but when they owe you something, they’ll take forever. I also read an article in the Chicago Tribune Online about a woman who was in the same situation and never got her mother’s last payment.

    • We are sorry to hear of your loss and apologize for any inconvenience, Christine. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. You can request to speak with the manager to see how we can help to expedite resolution of your situation.
      When calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, you may experience a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m.
      To submit your comment, complaint or suggestion, you can write to us or send us an email message. Thanks.

    • Hello Patrice. Only certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits from a worker’s Social Security record.
      When you start receiving Social Security retirement or disability benefits, some members of your family may also qualify to receive benefits on your record. Also, see our Benefits Planner for Survivors.
      We hope this information helps!

  89. My husband has died. How do I claim his ss payments in place of my own. What is the procedure, i.e., necessary documents, etc. Thank you.

    • Natalie, we are very sorry for your loss. If you already receive benefits as a spouse, under your husband’s record, your benefit will automatically convert to widow’s benefits after we receive the report of death. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office.

      If you are receiving retirement benefits on your own record, you can only apply for benefits as a widow if your retirement benefit amount is less than the benefits you would receive as a survivor.

      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online. If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also visit your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. Thanks.

  90. I lost my husband and children 29 years ago never remarried or had a significant other. I will be turning 60 this month. I really could have used the boost as I have no family to fall back on. I have felt penalized for losing everyonr.
    I hope there is nothing to stop my widow benefit. I hope it is expedited quickly.

  91. Question my mother passed on Sunday Aug 11th and she has sociall security and has so want to know who to call to let them know and what’s the next step I need to take.
    So if some one can get back with me regarding this I would appreciate that
    Thank you. Reina Sharkey

    • We are very sorry to hear of your loss, Reina. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by sending the deceased person’s death certificate to the local Social Security office. However, you may report the death of your mom’s passing by calling 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week.
      To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies in August, and if you -still- receive a payment in September, you must return it. Also, if she was receiving her payments via direct deposit, the bank will -usually- return the Social Security payments, once they are notified of the person’s death.
      For more information, please read “How Social Security Can Help You When a Family Member Dies“. Thank you.

  92. My mother has passed away on 18 Aug 2018; Will her last Soc Sec. payment end at the end of the month or do I have to pay back the amount she received for August? Please advise

    • Bruce, we are very sorry for your loss. Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. Based on your mother’s date of death, she is due the payment received in August. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by sending the deceased person’s death certificate to the local Social Security office. However, you may report the death of your mom’s passing by calling our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

    • Hello Jamie. Unfortunately, but for security reasons, we do not have access to personal records in this blog. Please continue working with your local office. If you are unable to visit the local office, you can call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213, representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time if you call later in the week. Thanks!

  93. I am very upset that my survivor benefits are going to stop when my son turns 16. I called the S S office and they said well that’s just how it is. Why should I have to fight for this benefit when I am in need of help. I didn’t ask to be put in this situation. Before my husband passed. He couldn’t even get disability like others that have been on it for years. The day he passed I get a letter in the mail he was approved. Anyway. At one time I made enough money to support my family then my husband lost his job he got sick, then I lost my job then he passed. Now I need these benefits that I’m receiving to give my son a somewhat normal life. He will be driving soon and since the money I received for him has to go for bills,food,clothes as the lady as SS office I have no money saved for him which I think is ridiculous I need this money for another car payment, additional insurance, etc. and to keep our home,electric on,water to survive, as your website says it has help 5 million people keep them out of poverty. I need this help and shouldn’t have to beg for it.

    • Thank you for contacting us, Renee. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, we ask that you return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. However, keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies during the month of August, you must return the benefit paid in September.
      For further assistance, you can speak to one of our agents. Please call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Generally, you will have a shorter wait time when you call later during the day or later in the week. Or contact the local Social Security office.

  94. Can I report my sisters death, who is single with no beneficiary on line or do I have to call SSA. If I report on line how is it done. She her benefits on 9/19 and passed away on 9/30. Do I need to send this money back.

    • Nancy, we are very sorry for your loss. You cannot report a death online. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office. To verify this information was reported, call our toll free number at 1-800-772-1213. Representatives are available Monday through Friday, between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. or you can contact your local Social Security office directly.

      Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. Based on your sister’s date of death, she was due the payment.

  95. My question is there was 400.00 stolen from me this month, I need to know if I can get 225.00 from my Nov. Check so I can pay my rent for this month?

  96. Hello social security , I’m sure Levins funeral house from Brookline ma sent you a letter notifying you about the death of my wife Naama Goldin on 9.11.2018
    So you stop paying her social security every month.
    As well they told me to contact you and ask for one time payment of $255 for me as her spouse for the last 41 years.
    Please send a check to the same account you sent her the regular monthly payment in BOA
    Please let me know if you need more informations
    Thanks a lot
    Avraham Goldin

  97. My stepson Michael Kauffman passed away at 2:00 am this morning in West Virginia. His dad and I live in Pennsylvania. Michael was on disability, I need to know what I have to do to stop his checks. Thank you, Patricia Kauffman

    • Laurie, we are very sorry for your loss. If you already receive benefits as a spouse, under your husband’s record, your benefit will automatically convert to widow’s benefits after we receive the report of death. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by contacting the local Social Security office.

      If you are receiving retirement benefits on your own record, you can only apply for benefits as a widow if your retirement benefit amount is less than the benefits you would receive as a survivor.

      You cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online. If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday through Friday. You can also visit your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. Thanks.

  98. My husband(Ali Nazif) bank account was stolen, had to close it and open a new one. This is the account where his SS benefit was deposited monthly. Since he suffered 2 stroke and lives in a nursing home, I tried calling SS office to get some answers as how to act on his behave, I waited one hour, had my husband talk to them giving all the numbers and addresses he was asked, yet they said one information didn’t match. It is very difficult to transport him or even have him talk, what are the requirement I need, please let me know asap as we need the money as his expenses are too high. Thank you, Etedal Nazif, wife

    • Hello Etedal. Since it sounds like your husband needs help managing his Social Security benefits, you may be interested in applying to become his representative payee.
      Please note that having a power of attorney, being an authorized representative, or having a joint bank account with the beneficiary, is not the same as being a payee. These arrangements do not give you legal authority to negotiate and manage payments for someone receiving Social Security or SSI payments. You must apply for and be appointed as a representative payee by SSA.
      If approved to serve as your husband’s representative payee, it will make it easier for you in the future to update account information for him. It would be helpful to obtain a statement from his doctor. The statement should say that your husband is not able -mentally and physically- to take care of himself and that you are the person responsible to keep his finances in order. We understand how inconvenient this may be for you, but hope you understand our role in protecting everyone’s personal information.
      A face-to-face interview is required to apply for representative payee status. If you have specific questions, or to make an appointment, please call 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. to speak to one of our representatives. Or you can contact your local Social Security office.
      Please read our publication: A Guide For Representative Payees for more on this important topic. Thanks!

  99. I HAVE BEEN HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR MY SISTER THAT PASSED AWAY’S FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS AND WAS WANDERING HOW I COULD COLLECT THE 255.00 DEATH BENIFIT

  100. My brother, Scott Fraser Coen, died on 10/27/18. The O’Connor Mortuary in Laguna Hills, CA is notifying you of his death. I am checking to make sure you stop his monthly social security checks. I am his sister, Suellen Ann Coen

    • We are sorry for your loss, Suellen. Typically, the funeral director notifies us of an individual’s passing by sending the deceased person’s death certificate to the local Social Security office. However, you may report the death of your brother’s passing by calling 1-800-772-1213 between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Generally, you will experience a shorter wait time if you call later during the day or later in the week.
      To be eligible for a Social Security benefit payment, a person has to live throughout the entire month. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. Keep in mind that Social Security benefits are paid the month after they are due. For example, if the person dies in September, you must return the benefit paid in October. Thank you.

  101. All I need to do is report the death of my mother. There is no guidance for that. Plenty of info on how to get her benefits! Very frustrating to say the least. My nearest Social Security office is 66 miles away, and iwait time on the phone is ridiculous! I am under enough pressure right now I just don’t need anymore brick walls to hit!

    • Hi Ethel. We are sorry to hear about your loss. Typically, funeral homes report deaths to the Social Security Administration directly. You can check with the funeral home to determine if reporting has been done. Hope this helps. Thanks.

  102. My Dad Antonio Davila died on 11/11/2018. i would like notify you of his death. I am checking make sure you stop his monthly social security check. I am his son Otis Davila

  103. I stopped working some 27 years ago, so when I became 65 I drew my money out of social security. My husband is now 65 in June and applying for his social security. Now at 66 I have cancer took treatment and got neuropathy in hands, and feet. Also had a heart attack on 13th treatment of chemo. Told I could not take anymore treatment. Now cancer is gone but have a 5 percent chance of return and take heart medicine but I am still left with neuropathy. I cannot stand for a long period not sit for a long period. My daughter who has adhd and some autism is now 27 and still at home. Would I qualify for any social security at all. Please let me know what I can do?

    • Hello Nell. To see if you qualify -on your husband’s record- for a higher (spouse) benefit than what you are currently receiving, you will need to contact your local office or you may call our toll free telephone number at 1-800-772-1213, Monday through Friday between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and ask a representative to assist you.
      If a person has reached his or her full retirement age (Currently 66) and is receiving Social Security retirement, they will not be eligible for disability benefits.
      You may be eligible to receive additional assistance from the state where you live. These services include Medicaid, free meals, housekeeping help, transportation or help with other problems. You can get information about services in your area from your state or local social services office.
      You can also visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) web page for more information.
      We hope this information helps.

    • Hi Barry, we are very sorry for your loss. The Lump-Sum Death benefit of $255 (a one-time payment) may be payable upon the death of a person who has worked long enough to be insured under Social Security. An application for the Lump-Sum death payment must be submitted within two years of the insured person’s death.

      You can only apply for the Lump Sum Death Payment by scheduling a phone appointment or in-office visit. You can call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) and ask to speak with one of our representatives, who are available Monday through Friday between 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m.

  104. I am trying to find out how to apply for the one time $255 death death benefit for my daughter, who passed away Dec2,2018.her name is Melissa St Onge

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