A family member or other person responsible for the beneficiary’s affairs should do the following:
A one-time payment of $255 is payable to the surviving spouse if he
or she was living with the beneficiary at the time of death, OR if
living apart, was eligible for Social Security benefits on the
beneficiary’s earnings record for the month of death.
If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a minor or dependent child who was eligible for benefits on the beneficiary’s earnings record in the month of death.
Monthly survivors benefits can be paid to certain family members, including the beneficiary's widow or widower, dependent children and dependent parents.
The following booklets contain more information about filing for benefits and can be downloaded by clicking on the title:
Survivors Benefits (Publication No. 05-10084)
Social Security: Understanding the Benefits (Publication No. 05-10024)
Disclaimer: This information is meant to help guide you in beginning the process of applying for SSA survivor benefits, if eligible. It is not meant to replace SSA information and does NOT imply or guarantee eligibility for benefits. Only an authorized SSA employees can determine eligibility.