Social Security claims should be filed immediately at the nearest office, as benefits may not be honored unless filed within two years after death. They will explain benefits and help with claim papers without charge. The following information will be required:
- Certified copy of death certificate or "Statement of Death" from SSA-721
- Deceased's past nine months employment record (IRS FORM W-2)
- Copy of Marriage Certificate (if married)
- Deceased's Social Security card or number
- Birth Certificate or minor children (under 18)...and for children still in High School
- Information regarding children disabled prior to age 22
- Personal income tax returns if self-employed
- Proof of Age, if over 60 (Birth Certificate)
DO NOT DELAY applying even though you do not posses all the required papers...The local office may suggest other proofs which can be used.
The Following benefits should be discussed with the Social Security office:
- Lump sum death payment to the surviving spouse, minor, disabled child(ren)
- Life pension to widow(er) over 60 years old
- Pension to widow(er) with dependent children under the age of 16 years old (dependent upon certain income requirements)
- Pension to minor children of deceased (under 18 years old)
- If there is no widow(er) or children, pension may be payable to the surviving dependent parent.
- If a widow(er) 60 to 64 years old is receiving disability payments based on his/her own earnings, it may be possible to secure benefits based on his/her spouse's earnings.
- Ask about hospital and medical insurance plans and check on medicare if you are 65 years or older