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When a dear person receiving Social Security benefits passes away, you may wonder how the government stops sending that monthly money.
Or, maybe there is a living spouse or dependent who relies on that income and wonders if some sort of payment can continue.
While social security regulations can be complex, the bottom line is that the benefits of the deceased stop at death. For survivors, how to get benefits – or are you eligible – depends on many factors.
First, it is necessary for the Social Security Administration to be alerted as soon as possible after the person dies.
In most cases, funeral homes inform the government. There is a form available that uses those businesses to report deaths.
“Person serving as executor [of the estate] Or the surviving spouse can also be called Social Security, ”said certified financial planner Peggy Sherman, a principal advisor at Bryd Financial Advisors in College Station, Texas.
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There are some things to keep in mind. For starters, a person has no Social Security benefits for the month of their death.
“Any benefits that are paid after the month of the person’s death need to be returned,” Sherman said.
With Social Security, each payment received represents the previous month’s benefits. So if a person dies in January, the check for that month – which will be paid in February – will need to be returned upon receipt. If the payment is made by direct deposit, the bank holding the account should be informed, so that it can refund the benefits sent after the person’s death.
It can be no surprise that using someone else’s benefits after dying is a federal crime, whether or not death has been reported. If the Social Security Administration receives notice that fraud is occurring, the charge is reviewed and potentially a criminal investigation will be warranted. To deal with duplication, the agency records with other governmental entities to identify untimely deaths.
For survivors as survivor benefits: If there was already a spouse’s trusted person receiving money based on the deceased’s record, upon the government’s death notice, the survivors’ benefits were auto- Will be converted.
“For all other cases, the surviving spouse will need an appointment to call Social Security and apply for survivor benefits,” Burman said. “You can’t do this online.”
If widows or widows have reached their full retirement age, they can receive the full benefit of their deceased spouse, Sherman said. They can apply for reduced benefits up to the age of 60 as opposed to the initial claim of 62 years of age.
If survivors qualify for Social Security on their records, they can switch to their own benefits anytime between 62 and 70 if their own payout will be higher.
An ex-spouse of the deceased may also be able to claim benefits, as long as they meet certain specific qualifications.
For the minor children of a dying person, benefits may also be available, as well as a surviving spouse who is caring for the children.
Finally, upon the death of the Social Security recipient, survivors are usually given a lump sum payment of $ 255.