Social Security Benefits

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After a loved one dies, some family members may be eligible for Social Security benefits if the deceased person worked long enough under Social Security to qualify. We recommended that families get in touch with the Social Security Administration as soon as possible to make sure they receive all of the benefits they may be entitled to. Please read the following information carefully to learn what benefits may be available.

A one-time payment of $255 may be paid to the 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. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased's record in the month of death.

Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled)
  • A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased's child under age 16 or disabled
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or up to 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school), or 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
  • A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances

The Social Security website is a valuable resource for information and provides numerous things you can do online. Visit them at www.ssa.gov or call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

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