To receive monthly benefits, 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 eligible for monthly benefits include:
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:
You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 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.
You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The number to use is 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message, and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business 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.
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