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Social Security Benefits

Correct filing for your Social Security benefits is imperative for prompt payments. Use the following information to ensure you’re on the right track.


Eligibility

Depending on his or her age at death, the deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years. The following may receive 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, 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 remained disabled

  • Dependent parent or parents 62 or older

 

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 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

Benefits are not paid unless you apply. Applications can be made at any Social Security office, by phone or online at www.ssa.gov. For in-person or phone applications, call 1-800-772-1213 to speak with an operator who will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by phone. 


Contact Social Security

Call 1-800-772-1213 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, or visit the Social Security website at www.ssa.gov. 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 someone will get back with you, usually in one 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.

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