When an American citizen dies they may be eligible for certain benefits from the Social Security Administration. The social security rules and regulations are many and complicated. The following information should be used as a guideline and is not meant to be all inclusive, nor should this information be viewed as legal or tax advise. For more complete information contact your attorney or tax consultant or contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.
In order for a survivor to be eligible for a lump sum benefit the deceased must have worked 1½ years while paying into social security. Generally the surviving spouse, or a child already receiving social security benefits may be eligible for a one time lump-sum benefit of $255.00
Other survivor benefits may be available to the following individuals:
A widow or widower at age 60 or older or any age is caring for an entitled child under the age of 16 or Disabled.
A divorced widow or widower at age 60 or older if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an Entitled child under the age of 16 or disabled.
When a death occurs Willwerscheid Funeral Home's staff file Form SSA-721, "Statement of Death by Funeral Directors". This notifies the Social Security administration that the death has occurred and to adjust monthly benefits and pay lump-sum benefits. If the deceased is receiving social security benefits, the benefits for the month in which the death occurred become void. In other words, if a person died May 29th then the check received in June needs to be returned to the Social Security Administration. That monthly benefit is not pro-rated for the part of the month that the person lived.
Individuals may contact the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213 or online at ssa.gov.