Social Security

Eligibility »

The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death. Those who may receive monthly benefits are:

  • A widow or widower age 60 (50 if disabled) or older or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled
  • A divorced widow or widower age 60 (50 if disabled) or older if the marriage lasted 10 years or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled
  • Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full-time)
  • Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled
  • Dependent parent or parents 62 or older

Lump-Sum Death Payment »

A one-time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:

  • A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death
  • A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death
  • A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death

Applying for Benefits »

You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213, and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.

Questions? Please call (423) 282-1521 for assistance.