Social Security Benefits

The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.  At the time of death, we will send a notification to our local Social Security office, starting the process to end/change any benefits that are being received.

Social Security Benefits – Eligibility

The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death. Those who may receive monthly benefits include:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled

  • A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled

  • Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full-time)

  • Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled

  • Dependent parent or parents 62 or older
Lump-Sum Death Payment

A one time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:

1. A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death
2. A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death
3. A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death

Applying for Benefits

You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or our funeral home will always assist you in filing for these benefits and in filing insurance claims and paperwork that might be necessary at the time of death. If you wish, you may apply by telephone to the local Social Security office (Coralville) at: 1-866-964-2039.

Contacting Social Security

For more information and to find copies of Social Security publications, visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov or for the Coralville office call 1-866-964-2039 or the national Social Security office, 1-800-772-1213 (for the deaf or hard of hearing, call the TTY number, 1-800-325-0778). They can answer specific questions from 7 am to 7 pm, Monday through Friday. Information provided by automated phone service is available 24 hours a day.

If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact the funeral home.


Gay & Ciha helps to complete filing documentsPart of our care for you, your family and your loved one is assisting in the filing of the necessary documents at the time of a death.  We automatically file with the Social Security Administration and the Veterans Administration if the deceased is a Veteran.  We will also assist in completing and filing for life insurance, pension, and other matters that need to be done at the time of death.