Social Security Benefits

This information is provided to assist you in filing for Social Security Benefits so prompt payments can be made


  • The widow or widower must be 60 years of age or older, or 50 if she or he is disabled.
  • Any age spouse is eligible if he or she is caring for the deceased's child, if the child is under 16 years of age, or disabled.
  • The unmarried child of the deceased is eligible if the child
    • is under 18
    • is 18 or 19 and a full-time student in elementary or secondary school
    • over 18 if he or she is disabled and became so before the age of 22
  • The parents of the deceased, if they are over 62 and were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their financial support
  • Under certain circumstances, a surviving divorced spouse.


  • a $255, one-time payment to the spouse of the deceased, if he or she was residing within the same house. If they were living outside of the house, the surviving spouse must have been receiving certain Social Security benefits from the deceased.
  • If no spouse survives, the benefits will go to an eligible child who was on the deceased's record the month of his or her death.

Finding information about Social Security benefits starts on the Social Security website. In addition, contacting the national Social Security office at 800-772-1213 (TTY 800-325-0778) between 7am and 7pm Monday through Friday will put you in contact with a staff member who can answer your more specific questions, along with a 24 hour automated service for frequently asked questions and general information. This toll-free number may be used to set an appointment, apply for benefits, or just ask questions.