What happens to social security benefits when you die?

Are you or your loved ones receiving Social Security benefits? If so, you may wonder what happens to those benefits when the beneficiary dies.

What happens when a Social Security beneficiary dies without payment?

Social Security benefits are paid a month behind. For example, benefits due for the month of August are paid in September, those for September are paid in October, and so on. If the beneficiary was to die any time between the first of the month and their normally scheduled payment date, then their loved ones or legal representative of their estate may come forward and claim the benefit.

Who can claim benefits of a deceased beneficiary?

Social security benefits of a deceased beneficiary can be claimed by the following person or persons in descending order of priority:

  • The widow(er) of the underpaid person, but not a surviving divorced spouse;
  • The child or children of the underpaid person entitled to monthly benefits on the same earnings record as the underpaid person for the month of death. If there is more than one entitled child, payment is made in equal parts to each child;
  • The parent or parents of the underpaid person entitled to monthly benefits on the same earnings record as the underpaid person for the month of death. If there is more than one entitled parent, payment is made in equal parts to each parent; and
  • The legal representative of the underpaid person’s estate.

For more information on estate administration, contact a Cleveland Estate Administration Lawyer.