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Answering questions about Social Security benefits after a death

Answering questions about Social Security benefits after a death

When you experience the death of a loved one, it can be difficult to move forward, though necessary. In a time of grief and overwhelming loss, it’s understandably hard to reconcile some of the loose ends that may remain.

One important consideration, however, concerns benefits from the Social Security Administration. One of the built-in aspects of this federal program is that eligible family members can receive some benefits following a family member’s death.

Who may qualify for benefits

According to the Social Security Administration’s website, family members are eligible for benefits if the loved one had worked for long enough to receive benefits from Social Security. They stress that it’s important to let them know as soon as possible when a loved one has passed away to determine what may be available.

The benefits may include the following :

  • A spouse receives a one-time payment of $255 if they were living with them at the time. It’s noted that even ones who are separated may still qualify for the payment.
  • If there’s not a surviving spouse, a child who is eligible for benefits may also qualify for the one-time payment.
  • Other family members may be eligible for monthly benefits after their loved one has passed away. This includes spouses over the age of 60, or a spouse who is caring for the late spouse’s child under age 16 or disabled.
  • Under some circumstances, children under age 18, stepchildren or adopted children, parents who were dependent on the loved one for financial support, or surviving divorced spouses may also qualify for monthly benefits.

Contacting the agency

If you want to learn more about what Social Security can provide, you can check out their website at They also have a telephone number that’s toll-free: 800-772-1213 and available between 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. EST on weekdays.

Other financial guidance we can provide

As part of our role in planning funeral services, Dalton-Hoopes can help answer any questions concerning financial need. We understand and empathize with anyone who may be in a position of difficulty in funding a service for a loved one.

Apart from the potential Social Security funds, there may also be funds available for veteran families who qualify through federal and state Veterans Affairs departments. In addition, insurance policies may have clauses for funeral costs.

A quick Google search may also make you aware of any local charities that can provide financial help for funeral expenses, including churches.

No matter your financial situation, we can provide excellent service to you with compassion and respect, so that you can create a service with dignity and love for those you have lost. Find out more about all of our services at