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A one-time payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased’s record. If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased’s record in the month of death.
Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, including:
A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);
A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased’s child under age 16 or disabled;
An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or age 18 or 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;
Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and
A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.
The Social Security website is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security’s programs. There are a number of things you can do on-line.
In addition to using the Social Security website, you can call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213. Staff can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday. They can also provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you may call the TTY number at 1-800-325-0778.