Some of the deceased's family members may be able to receive benefits if the deceased person worked long enough under Social Security to quality. You should get in touch with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible to make sure the family receives all of the benefits to which they may be entitled. Please read the following information carefully to learn what benefits may be available.
A one-time payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; if living apart, the spouse may receive this one-time payment if the spouse was also receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased's record. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child on the deceased's record who is eligible for benefits in the month of death.
Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, including:
A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);
A surviving spouse of any age caring for the deceased's child who is under age 16 or disabled;
An unmarried child of the deceased who is under age 18 (under age 19 if they are a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or an unmarried child age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;
Parents age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; or
A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.
The Social Security Administration's website is a valuable resource for information about all Social Security programs. There are a number of things you can do online.
In addition to using the Social Security Administration's website, you can call them toll-free at 1.800.772.1213. Staff can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; they can also provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day. If you are deaf or hard of hearing you may call the TTY number at 1.800.325.0778.