Who is eligible to receive a Social Security lump-sum death payment?

A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements. If the surviving spouse was living in the same household with the worker when he or she died, the surviving spouse is eligible to receive the payment. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, he or she was already receiving benefits on the worker’s record; or became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death.

If there is no surviving spouse, the lump-sum payment will go to the worker’s child or children, if during the month the worker died, the child/children was already receiving benefits on the worker’s record, or became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death. For more information, contact your local Social Security office or call call 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).