What happens with Social Security when my loved one dies?
If you would like to see if you are eligible to receive benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 or visit a local Social Security office. Ask if any paperwork is needed to receive the benefits or inquire which benefits you are eligible for. If you are already receiving benefits for a loved one, you usually won’t need to apply again.
If your loved one receives a Social Security payment after they have passed and they did not survive through the entirety of the month for that payment, you will have to return that payment to Social Security. For example, if your loved one died in April and you received benefits for them in May you would have to return the payment because your loved one did not survive through the entire month of April. Return checks as soon as possible.
$255 Lump Sum Benefit
A one-time payment of $255 can be made to the deceased’s spouse if the spouse was living with the deceased at the time of passing. The payment could also be made to the deceased’s spouse or child who would be eligible for a Social Security payment in the loved one’s month of death.
Monthly Social Security Payments
Family members who may be eligible to receive monthly Social Security benefits include:
- Surviving spouse over the age of 60, or over 50 if living with a disability
- Surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances
- Unmarried child of the deceased younger than 18 or older than age 18 if living with a disability that began before age 22
- A surviving spouse who is caring for the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or living with a disability
- Dependent parents over the age of 62
Learn more about Social Security eligibility and benefits: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou.html