The following checklist is designed to help you file your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made. If you have any additional questions concerning Social Security Benefits you can call their toll free number, 1-800-772-1213 or go to their website, www.ssa.gov.
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 Received Monthly 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, of 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 are disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remain disabled.
- Deceased worker’s parent or parents 62 or older, if they were being supported by the worker.
Lump-Sum Death Payment
A one time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order.
- A surviving spouse who was living with the worker at the time of death.
- A surviving spouse who is eligible for benefits.
- A child or children eligible for benefits.
This payment cannot be made if there is not an eligible spouse or child.
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 1-800-722-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.
Social Security Teleservice
You may call the 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 7:00 am and 7:00 pm 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.