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Social Security Benefits

Social Security Benefits

A family member may be eligible to receive Social Security benefits if the deceased person worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits. Please contact Social Security as soon as possible to ensure your family receives all of the benefits to which it may be entitled. Please read the following information carefully to learn what benefits may be available.

A one-time payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased's record. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased's record in the month of death.

Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, including:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);
  • A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased's child under age 16 or disabled;
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or age 18 or 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or age 18 or older with a disability that began before age22;
  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and
  • A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.


The Social Security website is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security's programs. There are a number of things you can do online. www.ssa.gov

In addition to using the Social Security website, contact may be made via a toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213. Staff are available to answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. Information is also available via an automated phone service 24 hours a day. Individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing may call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778

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