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What you need to know about Social Security Benefits


Olde Towne Funeral Home will notify Social Security through our electronic death registration system when we produce the death certificate for your loved one.

Please note: Even though we notify the Social Security Administration the family will still need to call and apply to receive any benefits.


Not everyone qualifies for benefits. Below is a list of criteria that may need to be met.

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled)
  • A widow or widower of any age caring for the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled
  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is either: Younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if they’re a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school). Age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22.
  • A stepchild, grandchild, step grandchild, or adopted child under certain circumstances
  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support
  • A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances

There is a one-time DEATH benefit that may also be paid in addition to monthly payments.  The death benefit is currently $255. 

  • A surviving spouse if they were living with the deceased
  • A surviving spouse if living apart from the deceased and eligible for certain Social Security benefits on the deceased’s record, the surviving spouse may still be able to get this one-time payment.

 If there’s no surviving spouse

  • A child who’s eligible for benefits on the deceased’s record in the month of death


The funeral home DOES NOT apply for benefits.  We help start the process by notifying the Social Security Administration.  You MUST apply in order to receive any/all benefits.

  • The most convenient way to do business with the Social Security office is to visit ssa.gov.
  • There are several things you can do online: apply for benefits; get useful information; find publications; and get answers to frequently asked questions.
  • You can also just dial the toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 or at 1-800-325-0778 (TTY) if you’re deaf or hard of hearing and an operator will assist you with your claim by phone.


If the deceased was currently receiving a monthly Social Security check, you MUST return the check received for the month that the deceased passed away, along with any months thereafter. For Example:  If your loved one passes away in March, you must return the check paid in April.

If receiving the money through direct deposit, you must contact the bank and ask them to return any money received for the month of death or later.

If receiving a check, do not cash for the month the person passes away or later. Return the checks to Social Security as soon as possible.

*Eligible family members may be able to receive death benefits for the month their loved one passed away *

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