Losing a loved one is difficult. Unfortunately, the expenses that come with it make the situation even harder. However, you can find funeral assistance from the federal government. One such aid is Social Security.
Social Security pays a one-off lump sum death settlement of $255 to the spouse or children of the deceased. While this will cover a very small portion of the funeral expenses, it can also be useful for things like an obituary, which can require about $200.
Contacting social security
Notify Social Security as soon as you can to ensure that the family gets all the benefits they are entitled to. Benefits that may be available include:
- The payment of a one-time payment of $255 to the surviving spouse if they were residing with the deceased. If they were living apart and qualified for certain Social Security benefits on the deceased records, the surviving spouse could still obtain this one-off payout. If there is no surviving spouse, a child eligible for benefits on the deceased registered in the month of demise can receive this payout.
Family members who may be eligible to receive monthly benefits include:
- A widow/widower, age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled).
- A widow/widower at any age providing care for the deceased’s child who is under 16 or handicapped.
- An unwedded child of the deceased who is younger than 18 (or in some cases, 19) who is in high school.
- An unwedded child of the deceased who is age 18 or older, and has a disability that began before turning 22.
- A grandchild, stepchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child in certain situations.
- Parents older than 62 who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their assistance.
- A surviving divorced spouse under certain situations.
What happens if the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits before they died?
The benefit must be refunded. For example, if the person dies in May, you must return the benefit in June. If you received it via direct deposit, coordinate with the bank or other financial institution, and ask them to return any monies received for the month’s death or later. If paid via check, don’t cash any checks received for the month the person dies or later. Return the checks to Social Security as soon as possible. However, qualified family members may be able to obtain death benefits for the month the beneficiary died.