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Social Security Benefits

A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements.

Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household with the worker when he or she died. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, he or she:

  • was already receiving benefits on the worker's record; or
  • became eligible for benefits upon the worker's death.
  • If there's no eligible surviving spouse, the lump-sum can be paid to the worker's child (or children) if, during the month the worker died, the child:
    • was already receiving benefits on the worker's record; or
    • became eligible for benefits upon the worker's death.

Survivors must apply for this payment within two years of the date of death. For more information about this lump-sum payment, contact your local Social Security office.

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