Social Security Benefits

The Social Security Administration offers a one-time death settlement in the amount of $255 to the spouse or children of someone who has died. While this isn’t enough to cover a funeral, it can help offset some other costs. 

If the deceased was of retirement age, his or her spouse or children may be eligible to collect survivors’ benefits. Those benefits could additionally help with funeral costs. 

Survivor benefits are another way to offset funeral costs.

  • widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled)
  • Unmarried children of the deceased under 18 years old
  • Dependent parents age 62 or older
  • Divorced spouse—if marriage lasted at least 10 years
  • You can receive survivor benefits if the deceased was eligible for social security retirement benefits.
  • For the most part, anyone who has worked 10 years would be eligible for retirement benefits, making their spouse or children also eligible for survivor benefits.
  • If the deceased passed away before working 10 years you may still be eligible to receive survivor benefits. The younger you are when you die, the less you would have had to  work for your family to receive benefits.
  • Social Security calculates the credits needed to receive these benefits on a lot of different factors. It’s best to contact your local SSA office directly to see if you qualify
  • How Social Security can help you when a family member dies  (Available in English and Spanish)
  • 1-800-772-1213 or TTY 1-800-325-0778 if you are deaf or hard of hearing
  • Visit