Below is information designed to help you file for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.

To be eligible, the deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death.

Benefits of a deceased can be received by:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled
  • A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled
  • Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full- time)
  • Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled
  • Dependent parent or parents 62 or older

Lump-Sum Death Payment

A one-time payment of $255 is paid in addition to any monthly cash benefits. This benefit is paid in the following priority order:

  • A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death
  • A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death
  • A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death

You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office, online at www.ssa.gov, or by calling the Social Security office’s toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.