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Social Security Benefits

Claiming Benefits

Eligibility for Social Security benefits depends on several factors. We are happy to help identify any benefits that apply to you. 

Eligible Beneficiaries

For their survivors to receive monthly benefits, the deceased must have had Social Security credit for work of 1.5 to 10 years, depending on age at death. Survivors eligible for monthly benefits include:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (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 eligible child who is under 16 or disabled
  • Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if attending a primary or secondary school full-time)
  • Children who were disabled before reaching 22 and remain so
  • 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

 

Apply for Benefits

You may apply at any Social Security office, by telephone at 1-800-772-1213, or at www.ssa.gov.

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