Know What to Do When Social Security Beneficiary Dies

by Clauson on January 22, 2018



If you have a relative who is collecting Social Security Benefits, it’s important to know what to do when that person dies. It’s a painful time, but it’s important to know specifics when it comes to these benefits. This can be a concern for many people, so you need to know what to do when this eventually happens.

What to Do When Social Security Beneficiary Dies

What to do when a Social Security Beneficiary dies:

  • You need to let the Social Security Administration know.
    When a person dies, it’s important to let the Social Security Administration know as soon as possible. In most cases, the funeral director will do this, but you do need to give this person the deceased’s Social Security number in order to report it.

    You can contact the SSA through the website or through the automated phone service at 1-800-772-1213 or 1-800-325-0778, if you’re deaf or hard of hearing. If you need to speak to someone, you can do so between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

  • It’s possible that you may still be able to receive benefits.
    If the deceased worked long enough, you may still receive benefits. Contact the SSA to verify what benefits you are still eligible for.

    You may be able to receive a one-time payment of $255 as a surviving spouse who was living with the deceased. If living apart, you may still be eligible for this benefit. If there is no surviving spouse, a child who is eligible for benefits may be able to get this payment.

    Certain family members may be eligible for monthly benefits. These include a widow or widower 60 or older, a disabled widow or widower 50 or older, a widow or widower caring for the deceased’s child under 16 or disabled, an unmarried child under 18 or disabled, other children under certain circumstances, parents 62 or older that depended on the deceased for at least half of their support, or a surviving divorced spouse in certain circumstances.

  • You may have to return payment.
    If the deceased was receiving Social Security Benefits, you need to return the money received for the month of death and any later months. Eligible family members may be able to receive death benefits for the month that the beneficiary died.

Make sure to keep the tips above in mind when it comes to the Social Security Benefits of a family member. Contact us with any questions.

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