The following is designed to provide you the information needed to file for your Social Security benefits to ensure payments are made in a timely fashion.
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. Those who may receive monthly benefits include:
- A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 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
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 1-800-772-1213 between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.
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.
Complete information regarding Social Security death benefits can be found at their website. Or call us at 717-394-4097 and we will be happy to answer your questions.