How Do I Apply For The $255 Social Security Death Benefit
Social Security Death Benefit is a payment to surviving family members when the Social Security beneficiary dies.
This article will discuss who qualifies for Social Security Death Benefit, how much it pays out in this type of situation, and whether or not Social security covers funeral expenses.
What Is The Social Security Death Benefit?
The Social Security Death Benefit is a one-time payment of $255 that Social Security pays to the family or other representatives of a deceased Social Security beneficiary. This benefit is also known as the Social Security Widow’s Benefit.
How Much Is The One-Time Survivors Benefit?
The death benefit is a one-time payment of $255.
Qualifications To Earn The Survivors Benefits
You or the deceased individual will need to have at least 40 credits (10 years of work or contributions to Social Security) to pass on the survivor’s benefits to family members.
Editor’s Note: You can learn more about how Credits are earned by visiting the Social Security Credits page.
Who Is Eligible For A Social Security Lump-Sum Death Payment?
The surviving spouse or a child is eligible to receive the death benefit from Social Security.
Here is a better explanation of situations where the surviving spouse would receive it vs the child receiving the lump-sum payment.
How A Spouse Receives A Social Security Death Benefit
In most cases, this one-time payment will go to the surviving spouse that lived with the deceased individual.
If you and your spouse were living in different places during the time of their death, you can still potentially receive the $255 payment. In this situation, the surviving spouse would need to fit one of the following requirements during the same month that the individual died:
- The surviving spouse was already receiving Social Security benefits on the deceased’s record.
- You, the surviving spouse, became eligible for Social Security payments when the individual passed away.
How A Child Receives The $255 Social Security Death Benefit
The child of a deceased Social Security recipient can receive the payment if there is no eligible surviving spouse. The child would need to meet one of the following requirements:
- The child was receiving Social Security benefits on the deceased’s record during the month they died.
- That child became eligible for benefits when the individual passed away.
Can You Collect A Sibling’s Social Security When They Pass Away?
No, siblings cannot receive the $255 death benefit if their brother or sister passes away. According to Social Security, the only “other family members” who are eligible are stepchildren, grandchildren, adopted children, and parents who were being cared for by the deceased individual. Typically the benefit will go to a spouse or a child of the deceased.
How Long Do You Have To Apply For Social Security Widow’s Benefits?
If you are a surviving spouse or child, you have 2 years from the date of the individual passing away to apply for the Social Security death benefit.
How To Apply For The Social Security Death Benefit After A Family Member Passes Away
You can apply for the $255 lump-sum payment by phone or by visiting a local Social Security office.
To apply for the Social Security Death Benefit by phone you’ll need to call 800.772.1213.
You can also visit any Social Security office in your area to learn more about this death benefit. You can find the nearest Social Security office to you by visiting the Social Security website. From here you can type your zip code into the search to see a listing of Social Security offices close to you.
Does Social Security Pay For A Funeral?
No, Social Security does not pay for funerals. They can offer a one-time payment of $255 to the surviving spouse or child of the deceased Social Security beneficiary.
While the Social Security Administration will not pay for a funeral, they can offer a one-time payment of $255 to a family member.
Typically the surviving spouse will claim the payment. If there is no eligible surviving spouse, the child of the deceased Social Security beneficiary will be next in line to receive the payment.
Finally, I offer my heartfelt sympathies to you if your spouse or parent has passed away. If there are other resources that your family needs at this moment, simply comment below and I will respond with any organizations that may help you.
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Social Security Death Benefit FAQ
If you are a surviving spouse, divorced partner, unmarried child, or dependent parent of someone who has passed away, you could be eligible to receive monthly survivor payments based on their earnings. Furthermore, if the requirements have been met by the qualifying spouse or children then they may also be entitled to a one-time lump sum death payment of $255.
No, not everyone is eligible to receive the $255 death benefit from Social Security. To be eligible for this payment, you must have been a surviving spouse or other qualifying relative of the deceased individual. A child who is not married and has a disability could also receive the $255 death benefit. Eligibility may also depend on meeting certain criteria concerning rights and relationships between the deceased person and their survivors.
If a spouse dies, the widow or widower at full retirement age or older generally gets 100% of the deceased worker’s basic benefit amount. This means they will receive the same amount of money as the person who died was receiving. Those aged between 60 and full retirement age, will receive between 71% and 99%. Those with a child under 16 will get 75% according to Social Security. You can learn more by reading the Social Security Survivors handbook.
To apply for the $255 death benefit, call the Social Security hotline at 800 772 1213 or head to your nearest Social Security office. Scheduling an appointment in advance of your visit can save you time and get you started on the path towards receiving benefits quickly.
Nick Bryant is the author of Understanding Healthcare Is Half The Battle and a Senior Counselor with 13+ years of experience working in community health and mental health. He enjoys spending time with his family, watching WWE on Friday nights, and working toward a Google Data Analytics certification. If you have additional questions about community resources or government assistance programs, simply leave a comment below and he will follow up as soon as possible.