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Social Security Benefits

Survivor’s Benefits

Monthly survivors’ benefits are usually available to the following family members:

  • Widows and widowers age 60 or older
  • Widows and widowers at any age if caring for the deceased’s child(ren) who are under age 16 or disabled
  • Divorced wives and husbands age 60 or older, if married to the deceased 10 years or more
  • Widows, widowers, divorced wives, and divorced husbands age 50 or older, if they are disabled
  • Children up to age 18
  • Children age 18 – 19, if they attend elementary school or high school full time
  • Children over age 18, if they became disabled before age 22
  • The deceased worker’s parents age 62 or older, if they were being supported by the worker

Death Benefit

The Social Security Administration will pay a one-time death benefit of $255. to a surviving spouse, or a dependent child if there is no spouse. The decedent must have worked and paid into Social Security, and the spouse must be currently married and not separated at the time of the death. If there is no spouse or dependent child, there is no death benefit payable.

Returned Payment

If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, any checks which arrive after death will need to be returned to the Social Security office. If Social Security checks were being directly deposited into a bank account, the bank needs to be notified of the death also.

Contact Social Security Office

You can apply for benefits at any Social Security office, or over the phone at 1-800-772-1213. Depending on the benefits applied for, you may need any of the following documents:

  • Your Social Security number and the deceased worker’s Social Security number
  • A death certificate
  • Proof of the deceased worker’s earnings for last year (W-2 forms or self-employment tax return)
  • Your birth certificate
  • A marriage certificate, if you are applying for benefits as a widow, widower, divorced wife, or divorced husband
  • A divorce decree, if you are applying for benefits as a divorced wife or husband
  • Children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers, if applying for children’s benefits
  • Your checking or savings account information, if you want direct deposit of your benefits

You will need to submit original documents or copies certified by the issuing office. You can mail or bring them to the Social Security office, where they will make photocopies and then return your documents. https://www.ssa.gov/ https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10008.pdf

Local Social Security Office

***Notify Social Security as soon as possible when someone receiving benefits has died.


900 S. Harbor Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805

Phone: 1-800-772-1213
TTY: 1-800-325-0778


  • Monday – 9 AM to 3 PM
  • Tuesday – 9 AM to 3 PM
  • Wednesday – 9 AM to 12 PM
  • Thursday – 9 AM to 3 PM
  • Friday – 9 AM – to 3 PM
  • Saturday – Closed
  • Sunday – Closed