O. M. Benefit Solutions
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Social Security Survivor Benefits
One-time Death Payment
There is a one-time payment of $255 that can be made when you die if you have worked long enough. This payment can be made only to your spouse or child if they meet certain requirements.
When a relative dies ... what you need to know about survivors benefits
How do I apply for benefits?
If you are not currently getting Social Security benefits
You should apply for survivors benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits will be paid from the time you apply and not from the time the worker died.
You can apply by telephone or at any Social Security Administration (SSA) office. They will need certain information, but do not delay applying if you do not have everything. SSA will help you get what you need. You will need either original documents or copies certified by the agency that issued them.
The information the SSA needs includes:
- Proof of death—either from a funeral home or death certificate;
- Your Social Security number, as well as the deceased worker’s;
- Your birth certificate;
- Your marriage certificate, if you are a widow or widower;
- Your divorce papers, if you are applying as a divorced widow or widower;
- Dependent children’s Social Security numbers, if available, and birth certificates;
- Deceased worker’s W-2 forms or federal self-employment tax return for the most recent year; and
- The name of your bank and your account number so your benefits can be deposited directly into your account.
If you are already getting Social Security benefits
If you are getting benefits as a wife or husband based on your spouse’s work, when you report the death to SSA, your payments will be changed to survivors benefits. If SSA needs more information, they will contact you.
You can call SSA toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. All calls are treated confidentially. SSA can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. SSA can provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day. ( You can use their automated response system to report a new address or request a replacement Medicare card.)
If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the TTY number, 1-800-325-0778.
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