Friday, May 20, 2022

Who Is Entitled To Social Security Death Benefit

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Who Should Complete The Application

How does Social Security determine if you are entitled to benefits?

If an estate exists, the executor named in the will or the administrator named by the Court to administer the estate applies for the death benefit.

The executor should apply for the benefit within 60 days of the date of death.

If no estate exists or if the executor has not applied for the death benefit, payment may be made to other persons who apply for the benefit in the following order of priority:

  • the person or institution that has paid for or that is responsible for paying for the funeral expenses of the deceased
  • the surviving spouse or common-law partner of the deceased, or
  • the next-of-kin of the deceased

A registered trustee, guardian, or other legal representative, may act on a clients behalf in person, by mail or by phone, but not online.

For more information, you can contact the Canada Pension Plan.

Make Payments To The Federal Government

Learn how to use to make secure, electronic payments to government agencies from your checking or savings account. You can use the online service for VA medical care copayments, U.S. district court tickets, U.S. Coast Guard merchant mariner user fee payments, and more.

If you need help, contact customer service.

Child Survivor Average Benefit

Dependent children can receive 75 percent of the benefit payment that the deceased parent would have been eligible for at full retirement age, according to the Social Security Administration’s Survivors Planner. This amount depends on the amount the worker paid into Social Security and other factors. The earning record of the highest-earning parent, or primary beneficiary, is the basis for calculating the benefit amount that Social Security pays to a surviving orphan.

The average benefit paid to surviving children of eligible wage earners in May 2011 was $755, with 1.9 million beneficiaries, according to the Social Security Administrations Statistical Snapshot. This average includes payments as high as $1,775, calculated at 75 percent of the $2,366 maximum SSA retirement benefit payable as of 2011. The average also includes child survivor payments made at 75 percent of reduced payments calculated on the records of workers who elected early retirement. Once workers elect reduced payment options, SSA calculates payments to their child survivors using the benefit amount that they were receiving at death. Survivors of workers whose participation in federal, state and local government pension plans reduced their Social Security wages also receive reduced benefit payments.

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    Can I Draw Social Security From My Ex Wife

    Am I Eligible for Any of My Ex

    Qualifying Factors. You can draw on your exs Social Security benefits if youre at least 62 years old, your marriage lasted at least 10 years and you havent remarried. It doesnt matter if your ex has remarried. If you do marry again, you can collect on your second spouses benefits but not on your firsts unless your second marriage ends by death,

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    Who Qualifies For Social Security Survivor Benefits

    Monthly survivor benefits are available to certain family members, including:

    • A widow age 60 or older who has not remarried
    • A widow of 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 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22
    • A stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child, under certain circumstances
    • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their income and whose own Social Security benefit would not be larger than that of the deceased offspring
    • A surviving divorced spouse, if they meet other eligibility requirements

    A one-time death benefit payment of $255 can be paid to your surviving spouse if they were living with you or if you were living apart and your spouse was receiving certain Social Security benefits on your record. In cases where there is no surviving spouse, the one-time payment can be made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased’s record in the month of death.

    Can A Divorced Spouse Still Receive Social Security Benefits

    Exceptions are sometimes made if the divorced dependent ex-spouse is caring for a child of the deceased who is under 16 years of age or disabled. To qualify to receive the benefits, the ex-dependent spouse must not have remarried and not be entitled to the same or higher amount of benefits of their own.

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    How To Claim Survivors Benefits

    To begin receiving survivors benefits, you must make a claim with the Social Security Administration. Survivors benefits claims may not be made online. You can start the claims process over the telephone, 1-800-772-1213, or go to your local Social Security office. Making an appointment may reduce your wait time.

    The death should be reported to the Social Security Administration as soon as possible. In many cases, the funeral home can make that notification. You will have to provide the funeral home with the deceaseds Social Security number.

    Who Is Entitled To Social Security Death Benefits

    Social Security Spousal Benefits – Who is Eligible?

    Social Security death benefits are available to people who have lost a member of their family. Those who can receive Social Security death benefits include:

    • Spouses
    • Disabled Spouses. Disabled spouses often start receiving benefits at age 50
    • Divorced Spouses. You must have been married for 10 years and are now over the age of 60 to receive death benefits. If you got remarried before you turned 60, you might be eligible for something called survivor benefits instead.
    • Minor Children. Children who are under the age of 18 and unmarried usually qualify for survivor benefits, as do stepchildren, grandchildren, and adopted children under certain circumstances. Children who became disabled before the age of 22 also usually qualify for Social Security benefits.
    • Dependent Parents. Dependent parents can apply for these benefits, but must usually document and explain why they are disabled or cannot work, as well as why they have been dependent on their family for support.


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    Whats The Family Maximum Benefit

    The point of the Family Maximum Benefit is to keep family members who are living together from all claiming full auxiliary benefits from the same record. Social Security is pretty strapped for cash, and doesnt want too many people to claim benefits from the record of only one person who paid into the system.

    Take the case of a family of four, with one retired worker, one spouse and two minor children. If you added up the benefits, the retired worker would get 100%, the spouse would be eligible for 50% of the workers benefits and each child would be eligible for 50% as well. Because of the FMB, though, this family wont be able to claim all of those benefits. Instead, the spouse and childrens auxiliary benefits will be adjusted to make sure they fall below a certain percentage of the retired workers benefits.

    A wage earners personal maximum benefits + the maximum auxiliary benefits for all eligible family members = the Family Maximum Benefit. This maximum is computed as a percentage of the workers maximum primary benefit, and ranges between 150% and 187% of those benefits.

    Families with the lowest incomes fall under the 150% rule, meaning that the family can only claim a maximum of 150% of a workers Primary Insurance Amount . Meanwhile, middle-income families can claim up to 187% of benefits, and the highest-earning families can claim up to 175%. Yes, you read that correctly.

    Family Servicemembers Group Life Insurance

    FSGLI is a rider to SGLI that provides life insurance coverage for a service members spouse and dependent children while the member is insured under the SGLI program.

    • Coverage is automatically provided for spouses and dependent children of service members covered by the SGLI program, except in the case of service members married to service members on or after Jan. 2, 2013, who are required to fill out appropriate forms to opt into the program.
    • This coverage provides up to a maximum of $100,000 of insurance coverage for a spouse, not to exceed the amount of SGLI coverage the insured member has in force.
    • FSGLI also provides $10,000 for dependent children.
    • The service member is the only beneficiary of the FSGLI policy.

    Financial counseling services are offered to beneficiaries of SGLI, FSGLI and TSGLI.

    • This cost-free service is offered by Financial Point on behalf of Veterans Affairs.
    • Financial Point provides beneficiaries with valuable personalized financial information and expert consultation to ensure they have the tools necessary to manage their finances effectively. Consultants will not try to sell anything but merely provide financial advice.
    • Beneficiaries have two years to request financial counseling services and another two years to use those services.
    • Financial Point can be reached at 888-243-7351 or via email at

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    Documents You Need To Apply

    Please select the benefit you will be applying for from the list below to see what information and documents you may need when you apply:

      If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay applying for Social Security benefits.

      In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you. If we can’t verify your information online, we can still help you get the information you need.

      Mailing Your Documents

      If you mail any documents to us, you must include the Social Security number so that we can match them with the correct application. Do not write anything on the original documents. Please write the Social Security number on a separate sheet of paper and include it in the mailing envelope along with the documents.

      What If I Remarry

      Social Security Death Benefit Records

      If you wait until age 60 to remarry , your new civil status wont affect your eligibility for survivor benefits. Again, lots of people leave money on the table by making big life decisions without consulting the Social Security cut-offs. Our advice: dont get remarried at age 59-and-11-months if you can wait until age 60!

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      Who Can Get Social Security Survivors Benefits

      Spouses and families of Social Security claimants may be eligible for two different kinds of benefits after a worker passes away. A one-time lump sum death payment of $255 is availableto spouses or children who apply for payment within two yearsof the family members death.

      In addition, family members can collect survivors benefits, or a portion of the amount the deceased worker would have gotten at his or her full retirement age.

      Family members who qualify for survivors benefits include:

      You should be aware that if your spouse works, gets remarried, or is eligible for his or her own retirement benefits, this can affect eligibility for your Social Security survivor benefits. If you have more questions about your Social Security insurance or want help with a claim, contact the lawyers of Johnson & Gilbert today.

      Earnings Limit On Survivor Benefits

      If you file for any Social Security retirement benefit before your full retirement age, there is a limit to how much you can earn. The fact that this also applies to survivor benefits will often catch individuals by surprise.

      If you are under full retirement age you are limited to $18,240 in wages or net earnings from self employment. If you exceed that limit, your benefit will be reduced by $1 for every $2 you go over. The one exception is the calendar year you turn full retirement age. For that period, your limit is a much higher $48,600. The amount theyll reduce your benefit by is more generous as well.

      Once you are full retirement age, there is no limit to the amount you can earn while drawing Social Security. You can read my article on the Social Security earnings limit or watch my video.

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      If You’re Already Receiving Retirement Benefits

      For those already being paid retirement benefits, they can only apply for benefits as a widow or widower if the current retirement benefit being received is less than the survivor benefit. In other words, they’ll pay you the higher of the two benefits. However, both benefits cannot be combined together and taken at the same time.

      Dependency And Indemnity Compensation

      Social Security Survivor Benefits Part 1. Who is eligible? What do I do first?

      This compensation is an important part of an eligible survivors long-range financial planning. It is paid to eligible survivors of active-duty service members and survivors of those veterans whose deaths are determined by the VA to be service-related.

      • It is a flat monthly payment, independent of the pay grade of the veteran. This payment is adjusted annually for cost-of-living increases and is non-taxable.
      • To help ease a survivors transition, the VA also adds a transitional benefit of $270 to the surviving spouses monthly DIC if there are children under age 18.
      • The amount is based on a family unit, not individual children.
      • It is paid for two years from the date that entitlement to DIC commences, but is discontinued when the child reaches age 18, or under the age of 23 if attending school.
      • This benefit is payable for the life of the spouse, provided the spouse does not remarry before the age of 57. However, should a remarriage end, DIC benefits can be reinstated.

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      Funeral And Burial Benefits

      The DOD will care for, transport and inter your loved one.

      • The surviving spouse, children and siblings of the service member, as well as the parents of both the service member and surviving spouse, are authorized to receive travel entitlements.
      • If the spouse, children or parents choose not to travel to the funeral, the person authorized to direct the disposition of the service members remains and two close relatives may use this benefit.
      • Travel entitlement includes round-trip transportation and two days per diem upon arrival at the interment site.

      The Average Social Security Benefits For Orphaned Children

      The U.S. Social Security Administration administers and provides benefit payments to eligible wage earners when they reach retirement age and disability benefits for citizens who become disabled. It also provides benefits for the dependent children of eligible workers who die, even if the death occurs before the worker reaches retirement age. These benefits decrease the hardship that accompanies the loss of one or both wage-earning parents. They help families meet living expenses, educational expenses for dependent children, and for surviving children attending secondary school.

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      What To Do When A Social Security Beneficiary Dies

        Social Security payments are made on the third day of each month as payment for the previous month. Thus, a Social Security recipient must have survived the entire month to be entitled to the payment. For example, if a recipient dies on June 24, the payment made on July 3 will have to be returned. Consequently, in most cases the estates of decedents must pay back the Social Security Administration for the last payment received.

        The executor, administrator, or next-of-kin should notify the SSA by calling the 800 number for the state in which the deceased resided. If the recipient had her Social Security payment deposited directly into her bank account, the SSA will arrange to withdraw the payment electronically. The bank account must remain open for at least 45 days following notification to the SSA of the death. If the payments were mailed rather than direct-deposited, the SSA will send a letter requesting reimbursement.

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        How To Stop Social Security Check Payments

        Social Security

        The SSA can not pay benefits for the month of a recipients death. That means if the person died in July, the check received in August must be returned. Find out how to return a check to the SSA.

        If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible so it can return any payments received after death. For more about the requirement to return benefits for the month of a beneficiarys death, see the top of page 11 of this SSA publication.

        Family members may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits when a person getting benefits dies. Visit the SSA’s Survivors Benefits page to learn more.

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        Social Security Survivor Benefits: The Complete Guide

        Whenever Im asked about how Social Security survivor benefits work, I have a simple answer:

        At death of the first spouse, surviving spouses receive the higher of:

        • Their own monthly benefit, or
        • The monthly benefit of the deceased.

        Thats the clean and straightforward answer, but its not quite that simple. Although Social Security survivor benefits really are pretty simple, every family is different. Unique situations and variables can introduce some complexity.

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