Collecting Social Security Benefits after a Death Occurs

In most cases, your funeral director will report the death to the Social Security Administration (SSA) as a part of their funeral services. At Diehl-Whittaker Funeral Home, it is our highest priority to ensure your funeral process is smooth with minimal stress. We will assist your family in completing these services to allow you and your loved ones time to grieve and comfort. It’s important to understand the steps of collecting Social Security benefits after a death occurs to ensure the deceased’s financial aspects are handled properly. 

Contacting Social Security 

In the case of needed to contact the Social Security administration yourself, you can do so by calling 800-772-1213 or contacting your Social Security office. 

Who Qualifies for a Social Security Death Benefit 

When an individual with Social Security benefits passes away, social security may pay out two different types of benefits to the surviving spouse or child. These two payments include either a lump sum death benefit of $255 and/or an ongoing monthly payment death benefit called a survivor benefit. Essentially, when the death of someone who was receiving Social Security passes away, a one time payment of $255 will be given to the surviving spouse who was living with the deceased. If there is no surviving spouse, a dependent child can receive a one time lump sum of $255. 

Ongoing Monthly Payments 

Often times, monthly survivor benefits are paid to widows, widowers, dependents, or minor children. Here are a few guidelines for ongoing monthly payments of descendents social security:

  • A child who is under the age of 18 and attends full time school.
  • A parent of the deceased worker who is over the age of 62, and was dependent on the worker for support.
  • A parent caring for the dependent child of the deceased worker. 

If you have questions regarding collecting social security benefits after a death occurs, you can learn more on the survivors planner page on the Social Security website.


Diehl-Whittaker is a funeral service in Columbus, Ohio who makes every effort to reflect the quality of your loved one’s life. 

The care your family deserves, at a cost your family can afford. Contact us today for burial packages, cremation packages, and pre-planning forms. 

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