It is important to remember that the SSA will demand the return of any payments made to the decedent on the month that he or she passed away. Once that base amount is determined, Social Security applies any reduction based on the surviving spouse's timing of when to claim benefits. Those who aren't receiving benefits right now need to apply for the payment within two years of the date of death. A mother or father who cares for a dependent child of the deceased worker can also receive a benefit. If you're receiving benefits under your own record or are not getting benefits at all, you'll need to apply.
Survivor benefits are based on the retirement benefit that the deceased worker either already received or would have received at retirement. By knowing how they work, you'll be in a better position to manage your finances no matter what happens. For survivor benefits to take effect, the deceased worker must have worked long enough to earn a certain number of Social Security credits. There, you'll get more detailed information about how to qualify, how much you'll receive, and how you can apply online for benefits.
The lump-sum death benefit is payable as long as the deceased worker was considered to be currently insured. One key element of survivor benefits is that you can file for them independently from your own retirement benefit. Those who wait until full retirement age get the full base amount, but if survivors claim early, then reductions apply. Once the death has been reported, eligible dependents may apply for survivors benefits.
If no spouse is eligible for the death benefit, a child can get it if he or she was receiving benefits on the worker's record or became eligible to do so at the worker's death. Most banks are familiar with this procedure and will take care of returning payments as soon as they are notified of the death, but it is a good idea to remind them to do so.
If there is no spouse, a dependent child usually age 18 or under can receive a one-time lump-sum death benefit. Image source: Getty Images. To accomplish this, the applicant must provide additional information such as birth or marriage certificates as well as W-2 or forms from the Internal Revenue Service. If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call TTY Benefits for Spouses A current spouse who has been married to the insured worker for at least nine months and who is age 60 or older can receive a lifetime monthly income as a Social Security survivor benefit. To qualify, the child must be under 18, or in high school and no older than
Monday through Friday. A surviving spouse who was living in the same household with the worker when the worker died automatically gets the death benefit. By knowing how they work, you'll be in a better position to manage your finances no matter what happens.
For those spouses who qualify based on a child, benefits stop once the child reaches 16, but then start up again when the spouse chooses to take them after turning So if the deceased worker claimed Social Security early at age 62, then the base amount will be less than if the worker had waited until full retirement age. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone. When You Report a Death If you are getting benefits on your spouse's or parent's record: You generally will not need to file an application for survivors benefits.
Continue Reading. Another option is to visit the local SSA office with a copy of the death certificate or a document that shows the SSN of the dearly departed. Even divorced spouses can get survivor benefits if they qualify. Once the death has been reported, eligible dependents may apply for survivors benefits.
The following general guidelines dictate who should file an application in order to receive Social Security's lump-sum benefit: If the Social Security death benefit is being paid to a widow or widower who is receiving a spousal benefit, then you don't need to file an application. But one lucrative strategy can be to take either your own benefit or your survivor benefit early, and then change to a larger benefit later on. Once you've applied for both, you won't get the sum of both -- instead, you're only entitled to receive whichever is larger. If no spouse is eligible for the death benefit, a child can get it if he or she was receiving benefits on the worker's record or became eligible to do so at the worker's death. You can also visit your local Social Security office.