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What Happens to Social Security When You Die?

A portion of your contributions go toward survivor benefits. (Photo: Dallas Morning News)

A portion of your contributions go toward survivor benefits. (Photo: Yahoo Finance)

According to the Social Security Administration website, if you work and contribute to Social Security, a portion of your contributions go toward survivor benefits when you die, which means your surviving spouse, children, and even parents may be eligible for payments based on your earnings. Similarly, you and your family may qualify for benefits based on someone else’s earnings who died, as long as the deceased worked enough to be eligible for benefits. The payments stop if you have no survivors or dependents.

When you die, the Social Security Administration should be notified right away. The funeral home is usually in charge of this, and they send in a form called Statement of Death by Funeral Director.

If this does not occur, you must contact the SSA; you cannot report a death or apply for survivor benefits online.

To report a death or apply for survivor benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. From Monday to Friday.

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A portion of your contributions go toward survivor benefits. (Photo: Today I found Out)

When applying, you must provide the deceased person’s Social Security number. Your survivor must provide your social security number in the event of your death. According to CNBC, the estate executor can also contact Social Security. According to the SSA, here are some things to keep in mind for those receiving benefits on the record of a spouse or parent:

  • After receiving a death report, Social Security will automatically convert any monthly benefits received to survivors’ benefits.
  • The agency may be able to pay a Special Lump-Sum Death Payment automatically.
  • One thing to remember is that no social security benefits are due in the month of death.

Meanwhile, suppose your spouse or a qualifying dependent was receiving money based on your record. That benefit will automatically convert to survivor’s benefits once the government gets notice when you die. If the surviving spouse has already reached their full retirement age, they are entitled to the full benefit of their deceased spouse. You can apply for reduced benefits as early as 60 — or 50 if disabled — a few years earlier than the standard claiming age of 62.

READ ALSO: Social Security Payment Schedule 2023: This March There Will Be 3 Social Security checks To Release

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