SSI & Funeral Benefits or Coverage
Losing a love one is terrible burden, complicated by the logistics involved in funeral planning, probate and contacting family and friends.
If the departed family member was receiving social security insurance, or SSI, at the time of death, you may be entitled to funeral benefits.
The Social Security Administration provides a lump sum benefit for funeral expenses. As of 2019, this amount is $285.00. The caveat is that the survivor must qualify to receive this benefit.
If you are a surviving spouse who received social security, you qualify for the benefit. If you were separated from your spouse, but had lived together for at least ten years, you may still qualify.
Sometimes surviving children can receive the funeral benefit. If you are a surviving child and on SSI yourself, most likely you can receive this lump sum without a problem. If you are still in school at the time of your disabled parent’s death, you will probably qualify.
How to Apply
In some cases, a funeral director applies for the benefit for you, so ask about this. Otherwise, the a toll free number (800) 772-1213 makes it easy to communicate with Social Security. First, call Social Security to make the agency aware of the death and to stop any future payments.
During this call, inquire about the lump-sum funeral benefits and ask how to apply. Social Security customer services representatives should be able to walk you through the process.
As a survivor, you may be eligible to inherit the benefits of your deceased loved one. If you are a widower and 66 or older, you may qualify. If you are any age and have a child who is disabled and on SSI, you are eligible. If you are a surviving child and a minor, you qualify.
It is difficult to think in terms of logistics when you are assimilating and processing a loss and your whole mind seems to be elsewhere. However, doing the mundane, the practical, such as filing for benefits and making funeral plans, may be just the activity you need to stay grounded and moving forward. Fortunately, the resources of the funeral director and Social Security are available to help.
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