Assistance will vary. The SSA bases survivors benefit amount on the earnings of the person who died. The more they paid into Social Security, the higher the monthly benefit.
A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements.
Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, including:
- A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if they have a disability).
- A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.
- A widow or widower at any age who is caring for the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or has a disability and receiving child’s benefits.
- An unmarried child of the deceased who is one of the following:
- Younger than age 18 (or up to age 19 if they are a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school).
- Age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22.
Under certain circumstances, the following family members may be eligible:
- A stepchild, grandchild, step grandchild, or adopted child.
- Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support.
To report a death or apply for benefits, call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).