SSI Funeral Benefits

SSI Funeral Benefits
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The family of someone who dies does not automatically receive Social Security benefits -- they must be applied for. Most funeral homes will notify the Social Security Administration of a person's death by filing form SSA-721 (Statement of Death by Funeral Director) that notifies the agency about the death. Based on the benefits of the person who dies, the family may be eligible to receive additional Social Security Income funds.

Basic Funeral Benefits

There is no specific SSI funeral benefit. Money distributed by the Social Security Administration can, though, be used to help with funeral expenses. The amount of benefits for the family of the deceased depends whether the person qualified for SSI while they were living and the number of years the person worked while alive.

One-Time Payment

A one-time payment of $255 is available for a surviving spouse. The couple must have been living in the same residence at the time of the death or a record of the spouse's eligibility must be on file with the Social Security Administration. If there is no spouse, the benefit transfers to a child of the deceased.

Monthly Benefits

Some families are eligible for additional benefits after a death. Monthly benefits may be offered to a spouse aged 60 or older, a spouse caring for a child under age 16 or a disabled child, an unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than 18 or a child of any age who has a disability that started before age 22. Stepchildren, grandchildren and adopted children are eligible for benefits; parents of the deceased, age 62 or older, who were supported by the deceased may also be eligible for monthly benefits.

Benefits of the Deceased

Monthly benefit money intended for the deceased received by check or direct deposit must be returned to the Social Security Administration if it was received after a person's death. The money can not be kept and used to help pay for funeral expenses.