Who Is Entitled To Death Benefits in Social Security?

When the only earning member, usually the head of the family, dies, the rest of the family members face a financial crisis. The intensity of the financial crisis becomes more severe when the deceased husband or wife did not have a life insurance plan. Considering the fact, the social security administration announces death benefits for the surviving family members.

According to this announcement, the surviving spouse and children are entitled to collect the death benefits. They can collect the $255 death benefit. This amount and the death benefit are also known as a lump-sum death payment.

However, in the case of the death of a person, the priority for the collection of the death benefits always goes to the surviving wife or husband. So keep reading as we discuss the criteria necessary for collecting these benefits and who else can collect them.

Circumstances Where The Spouse Can Collect The Death Benefits

The spouse is entitled to collect the death benefits under the following:

  • At the time of the death, the surviving wife or husband was living with the deceased person.
  • The couple was living separately but receiving spousal benefits on the earning records of the deceased person.
  • Though the couple was living separately if they fulfill the criteria for survivor benefits on the dead person’s record.

Criteria for Collecting Death Benefits

The criteria for collecting the death benefits lies on the record of a deceased husband or wife. The record shall show that the couple must have been married to each other for more than one year. Besides the deceased person, either the wife or the husband has collected enough Social Security credits.

The collection of the credits make them eligible for Social Security disability insurance. It also makes them eligible for the Social Security retirement benefits.

In some cases, even if the couple was not living together or divorced, they are also eligible for the death benefits of the deceased person.

If there is no widow or widower of the dead person or if the surviving partner does not qualify for the collection of the death benefits according to the above-mentioned points, the death benefits (the $255 amount) straight away go to the children of the deceased person.

People Who Can Withdraw It

Children – Both sons and daughters

The children include both sons and daughters. They shall be eligible for the collection of the death benefits on the work record of the dead person. It also states that the surviving children of the deceased person are not married.

Besides the children shall be minor- this means they shall not be above 18- or 19. A child of the deceased person is eligible for the death benefits of the deceased soul if they are disabled.

Wife, husband, or children

If the surviving wife, husband, or children were recollecting family benefits on the record of the departed soul, then the death benefit is automatically paid to them once the death of the person is reported to Social Security.

If this does not happen, the surviving family members shall apply for the death benefit but not later than 2 years after the death of the person.

The death of the person shall be reported on the social security toll-free number- 800-772-1213 or give a visit to your local social security center. Also, the social security services can be availed online and via a phone call.

Surviving spouse of the children

The surviving spouse of the children is asked to show the birth and death certificate of the deceased person’s birth along with some other basic documents like social security card.

The claiming person might also have to appear in a short question-answer session. The questions will be related to the family of the deceased person, financial status, and Social Security status.

If the dead person has no surviving and eligible spouse or children to collect it, no death benefit is to be paid.