Where can I get more information on social security benefits?

For more information on social security benefits, visit the Social Security Administration web site at: www.ssa.gov.

How do I apply for social security benefits?

You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.

Who is eligible to receive social security benefits?

In order for a family member to receive benefits, the deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 ½ to 10 years depending on his or her age at death.
The following family members may receive benefits:

  • 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 lime).
  • Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled.
  • Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.

Does Social Security provide a death benefit?

Social Security provides a lump-sum death payment (LSDP) of $255, and only if you qualify. This is in addition to any monthly cash benefits you may qualify for. The LSDP may be paid to:

  • 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.
  • Your funeral director will prepare the necessary social security forms.

Your funeral director will prepare the necessary social security forms.

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