Survivor’s Benefits: Claiming Social Security Payments for Spouses and Dependents of Deceased Workers

Chicago, IL – The Social Security Administration (SSA) provides crucial support to the spouses and dependents of deceased workers, with approximately 11 percent of the agency’s payments directed towards this demographic. When a person who is eligible to receive Social Security benefits passes away, the law stipulates that their family can claim these benefits.

Survivors are advised to act promptly in applying for survivor’s benefits, as many payments are not retroactive. Qualifying widows/widowers can receive benefits, and those with disabilities can claim them if they have been disabled for at least seven years.

To initiate the process, individuals must complete an application and ensure that the SSA receives the deceased’s death certificate. Once this is done, the benefits are transferred to the spouse or child’s name. It is recommended to provide the deceased’s Social Security Number to the funeral home to report the death easily.

In addition to monthly payments, the SSA also offers a “Special Lump-Sum Death Payment” of $225, typically paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household as the deceased worker at the time of their death. For those already receiving Social Security benefits themselves, the SSA will determine if they can receive a higher benefit as a widow or widower.

The amount of benefits varies based on the age and/or disability of the survivor. Widows and widowers of retirement age can claim one hundred percent of benefits, while those aged sixty receive between 71.5 to 99 percent. Disabled spouses over fifty can claim 71.5 percent, and any other spouse over sixteen is entitled to 75 percent. Children of the deceased beneficiary are also entitled to 75 percent of the benefit amount. This support ensures that families who have lost a loved one can receive the financial assistance they need during a difficult time.