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.
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 (Iowa City) at: 1-866-964-2039. Just dial the toll-free national Social Security number at: 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.
Contacting Social Security
For more information and to find copies of Social Security publications, visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov or for the Iowa City office call 1-866-964-2039 or toll-free for 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.
You may use the toll-free number to make an appointment either in a Social Security office or telephone to apply for benefits, transact other Social Security business, or just ask questions.
If you have questions please don’t hesitate to contact the funeral home.
Part 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.