Social Security Disability Covid-19 “Survivors Benefits:”
Death Benefits when a Family Member Dies of Coronavirus
Sadly, more than 6,000 Californians have lost their lives to the coronavirus. If you have lost a loved one to Covid-19, or hearts go out to you during this sad and difficult time. You have our deepest sympathy, and our Social Security attorneys are here to help.
In that regard, our California Social Security attorneys just wanted to take a minute to remind those who have tragically had family die of coronavirus (Covid-19) that they may be eligible to collect “survivor benefits”. In this article we explain the two types of Social Security death benefits for which you may be eligible.
How to Collect Social Security Death Benefits When a Family Member Dies of Coronavirus
Typically, the funeral director will report your family member’s death to the Social Security Administration. So, make sure to give the funeral director the family member’s correct Social Security – so they can make the report.
You can also let Social Security know when a family member dies. Please do so as soon as possible.
However, you cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online. And, currently (June 2020) all SSA offices are closed due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).
To report a death or apply for death benefits, you can call the main number: 1-800-772-1213 (between 8:00 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday) – but there are extended wait times due to Coronavirus (Covid-19).
If you cannot get through on the main number, you can also try calling call your local Social Security Field Office. Most local offices are still staffed, but there are no in-person appointments, and phone wait times may be much longer than usual.
Social Security no longer publishes the phone numbers of most local offices. And they have taken down their online Field Office Locator during the pandemic to reduce the influx of calls. However, if you have a local field office number saved from previous correspondence or communications, you may try to call that number.
To apply for monthly Social Security survivor benefits, you may also call our experienced and caring attorneys.
Types of Social Security Death Benefits
There are two types of Social Security survivor benefits:
A one time “lump sum” payment of $225
Monthly Social Security benefits for eligible surviving family
You may qualify for one or both survivor benefits, IF:
Your deceased family member had enough “credits” paid into the Social Security system through their work their history; AND
You have a “qualifying relationship” as described in the next section.
Who Can Get Social Security Survivor Benefits for a Coronavirus (Covid-19) Death
Some of the deceased’s family members may be able to receive Social Security benefits if the deceased person worked long enough to qualify for benefits. The best way to determine if you are eligible for survivor benefits is to contact the SSA directly, or to discuss your situation with one of our experienced Social Security attorneys.
However, here are some general guidelines as to who may qualify for Social Security Survivor Benefits:
One-time “lump sum” payment of $255
Surviving spouse if they were living with the deceased
Surviving spouse if living apart but were eligible for certain Social Security benefits on the deceased’s record
If no surviving spouse, a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased’s record in the month of death
Monthly Social Security Survivor Benefits
A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled)
A widow or widower any age caring for the deceased’s child who is under age 16 or disabled
An unmarried child of the deceased who is:
Younger than age 18 (up to age 19 if they’re a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); OR
Age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;
Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support;
Under certain limited circumstances a surviving divorced spouse, and/or a stepchild, grandchild, step-grandchild, or adopted child may also qualify for Social Security death benefits.
Filing for Social Security Death Benefits for Coronavirus (Covid-19) Death
If you were already getting benefits on your spouse’s or parent’s record before the family member died from Coronavirus (Covid-19) or other cause, you generally will not need to file an application for survivors benefits. In most cases the SSA will automatically convert the monthly benefits you were receiving into survivor benefits.
If you were not getting benefits before the family member died from Coronavirus (Covid-19) or other cause, you should apply for Social Security Survivors Benefits as soon as possible because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive. Remember, the eligible spouse or child must apply for monthly survivor benefit payments within two years of the date of death.
If you were not getting Social Security Disability Benefits through your spouse or parent before they passed away, and would now like to apply for Monthly Survivor Benefits, our experienced attorneys can help you.
Social Security Death Benefits for Coronavirus (Covid-19) Death
If a loved has died from Coronavirus (Covid-19) or any other cause, our hearts and thoughts are with you. And our experienced Social Security Attorneys are always here to help you obtain the Social Security benefits for which you qualify.
Social Security Survivor Benefits can be confusing. Complete information on who is eligible is located on the Social Security Administration website HERE. Or you can call our experienced Social Security attorneys and schedule a phone consultation, to discuss applying for benefits to which you are entitled.
The Law Office of Cantrell Green is a group of highly qualified and experienced disability attorneys who have obtained millions of dollars in Social Security Disability benefits for thousands of clients in Long Beach, Orange County and the greater Los Angeles. Our lawyers care about every client, and fight tirelessly to obtain the benefits you deserve.