In the wake of losing a loved one, there are many tasks to undertake, among which notifying the Social Security Administration (SSA) is of utmost importance. This helps in ending social security benefits, preventing fraud, and may also help you understand if you are eligible for survivor benefits. In this post, we guide you through this process step by step.
Who Should Be Notified
The Social Security Administration is a U.S. government agency that provides social security benefits to retired, disabled individuals, and their survivors. If your loved one was receiving social security benefits, notification of their passing is essential to prevent overpayment and potential fraud.
When to Notify
The SSA should be notified as soon as possible after your loved one's passing. This quick action helps avoid complications related to overpayment.
How to Notify
You can report the death by calling the SSA toll-free number at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778), Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Keep in mind, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors’ benefits online. In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to the SSA if you provide them with the deceased’s Social Security number.
What to Expect After Notification
Once the SSA is notified, they will update their records and stop any ongoing social security payments. If any payment was received for the month of death or later, they must be returned as the SSA benefits are not payable for the month of death.
The SSA will also provide information about potential survivor benefits that you or other family members may be eligible to receive, including a one-time death benefit of $255.
Tips for Notification
Having the deceased's Social Security number readily available will make the process smoother. Also, maintain a record of all correspondence with the SSA, including dates of phone calls and names of representatives spoken to, for future reference.
Notifying the SSA after a loved one's passing is an important yet manageable task. With a clear understanding of the process, you can ensure the cessation of benefits, thereby avoiding overpayments, and also discover if you are eligible for any survivor benefits.
Q: Can the death be reported online?
A: No, the SSA doesn't currently have an online mechanism for reporting a death. You need to call them or inform the funeral home to report on your behalf.
Q: What if there are Social Security benefits for the month the person died?
A: The SSA benefits are not payable for the month of death. Any payment received for the month of death or later must be returned.
Q: Who can report a death to the SSA?
A: A family member or other responsible person should report the death to the SSA. Often, the funeral home will take care of this task if provided with the deceased's Social Security number.