To be eligible for social security benefits, the deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security. This ranges from 1 1/2 to 10 years, depending on the individual’s age at death.
Those who may be eligible to receive 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 entitled child who is under 16 or disabled
- Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full-time)
- Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled
- Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.
A one time payment of $255 will be paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits that are described above. This lump-sum death payment (LSDP) will be paid in the following order of priority:
- 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.
To apply for these benefits, visit your local Social Security office or apply by telephone by calling 1-800-772-1213 between 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days.