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Social Security Death Benefits-The Basics

An easy explanation about obtaining social security death benefits

Social Security Death Benefits

The death of a loved one can be devastating both emotionally and financially. Social Security death benefits may be available to help with the financial burden. When a family member dies, certain members of your family may qualify for survivor benefits. Eligible family members could include the widow, widower, minor children and in some cases, dependent parents.

Who Can Receive Social Security Death Benefits

Lump-Sum Payment

The Social Security Administration will pay out a lump sum in the amount of $255.00 to the surviving spouse upon the death of your loved one, providing they were living together at the time the family member died.

If they were living apart and the surviving spouse was receiving Social Security benefits from the deceased, they may qualify for this lump-sum payment as well.

How to File For Benefits

To file for Social Security Death Benefits you can either go to your local Social Security office or call the Social Security Administration at 1-800-772-1213.

Please note that the Social Security Administration will want at the very least a copy of the Death Certificate. In some cases they will also want your Social Security number, the Social Security number of the deceased, marriage certificate, and birth certificates of the deceased and any minor children who may be eligible to receive benefits.


Losing a loved one is never easy, but it's important that you file for all the benefits due you and your family as soon as possible after losing your loved one. In some cases, the funeral director will take care of notifying Social Security for you. Having a qualified attorney help you through this process will take the burden off of you and your family during this difficult time in your life.

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