In certain cases, surviving family members may be able to receive Social Security benefits on behalf of a deceased person. Although we notify Social Security of a passing when we complete a death certificate, we encourage families to contact Social Security to determine what benefits may be available to them. A certified copy of the death certificate will be necessary for this task.
A one-time payment of $255.00 will be paid by Social Security to a surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased's record.
Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly Social Security benefits, including:
- A surviving spouse aged 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);
- A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased's child under the age of 16 or disabled;
- An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than 18 (or age 18 or 19 and a full-time student in elementary or secondary school); or age 18+ with a disability that began before age 22;
- Parents, age 62 +, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and
- A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.
The Social Security website is also a valuable resource for benefit information. You may also contact Social Security directly at 1-800-772-1213. Staff members can answer specific questions from 7am to 7pm, Monday through Friday. Information is also available by automated recordings 24 hours a day. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.