Social Security Benefits
The Social Security Administration allows survivors to report the death of the loved. The site also provides information on potential benefits that can be claimed by the survivors. The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.
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.
Who May Receive Monthly Social Security Benefits
- 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 remain disabled
- Dependent parent or parents 62 or older
Lump-Sum Death Payment
- 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
Applying for Benefits
You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.
Social Security Teleservice - Doing Business by Telephone
You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The number to use is 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.
You may use the toll-free number to make an appointment either in a Social Security office or telephone to apply for benefits, transact other Social Security business, or just ask questions.