What happens to Social Security when you die?

What happens to Social Security benefits when you die? It’s important to know which members of your family can access them! Of cour...

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What happens to Social Security benefits when you die? It’s important to know which members of your family can access them! Of course, for this to happen, you will have to have contributed to your Social Security for several years. Here is the most important information you should know so that your family or beneficiaries are prepared in the event of your death. Learn about the process for claiming benefits!

Notification of death

When a person who payed into Social Security dies, one of the first steps you should take is to contact the Social Security Administration to notify them of the date of death and give them the deceased person’ information. Although it is possible to do this over the phone, it is usual for funeral homes to take care of downloading the necessary forms and handling the process for the family.

Contact the Social Security Administration

Person on social security page

The next step, after having notified the Social Security Administration of the death, is to call the telephone numbers indicated by the authorities between Monday and Friday from 7 am to 7 pm. If you call on the weekend, you can follow the automated instructions provided to answer questions or get information. An important fact about these contact numbers is that they are able to answer calls from people who speak languages ​​other than English or who have hearing difficulties.

Initiate procedures to receive benefits

When the initial call is made to the Social Security Administration, the authorities will guide you through the process of receiving your loved one’s benefits. To receive benefits, evidence of your relationship to the deceased must be shown. For this, documents such as the birth certificate, proof of citizenship or residence, tax returns, your loved one’s death certificate and Social Security number will be requested.


Economic benefits concept with coins

The amount that the beneficiary will receive will be determined by several factors, the main one being that the deceased person has reached the official retirement age before their death. With regard to the amount of money that you may be entitled to, generally the economic benefits range between $829 and $796 dollars a month.

Spouse benefits

Surviving spouses who may receive benefits must be 60 years of age or older, although it is also possible to access the monthly payments if they are 50 years old or have a disability. Likewise, all surviving spouses, regardless of their age, who are in charge of the care of a child of the deceased, will apply as beneficiaries, as long as the latter is under 16 years of age or has a disability.

Ex-spouse benefits


People who have been divorced from a Social Security beneficiary may be able to receive monthly financial benefits from the Social Security Administration. To apply for this benefit, they must show the marriage certificate attesting that it had a minimum duration of ten years, regardless of the age at which the marriage was contracted.

Child benefits

All the taxpayer’s unmarried children are also eligible to request Social Security benefits. They must present evidence that they are under 18 years of age, or, if they are 19 years old, that they are full-time students in primary or secondary school. There are particular cases in which the taxpayers’ children can receive the benefit, for example, those over 18 years of age who have a disability that was presented for the first time before the age of 22.

Other beneficiaries


There are other instances in which the beneficiary may be a person other than the spouse or children. For example, if the requirements are met, a stepchild, grandchild or adopted child may be eligible for benefits. The parents of the deceased person may also request payment of benefits, but only if they are over 62 years of age or have depended on the deceased for at least half of their support.

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