If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you need to contact the Social Security Office to report the death. If you think you may be eligible for survivor’s benefits, you should also contact them to apply.
How Social Security Helps Families
Social Security survivor’s benefits help ease the financial burden that follows a worker’s death. Almost all children under age 18 will get monthly benefits if a working parent dies. Other family members may be eligible for benefits, too.
Anyone who has worked and paid Social Security (FICA) taxes has been earning Social Security benefits for his or her family. The amount of work needed to pay survivor’s benefits depends on the worker’s age at the time of death. It may be as little as one and one half years for a young worker; no one needs more than 10 years.