fbpx Skip to main content


You probably know people who are receiving Social Security survivors benefits because they’re a widow or widower. At present there are about five million widows and widowers receiving monthly Social Security benefits based on their deceased spouse’s earning records. If you are a widow or widower you can receive reduced benefits as early as age 60 or full benefits at full retirement age or older. In addition a surviving spouse can receive a lump sum death benefit of $255.00. This payment must be applied for within two years of the date of death. Unmarried children, who are under 18 (up to 19 if attending elementary or secondary school) can be able to receive Social Security benefits when you die. Very often people are confused about the status of the deceased monthly Social Security check. Social Security requires you to live the entire month to claim that months check. Even if you pass on the last day of the month, the check will have to be returned. Furthermore, checks are always issued for the preceding month.

Cappetta’s West Suburban Funeral Home will automatically notify Social Security upon death, however, applying for benefits may be made by contacting Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 between the hours of 7 AM – 7 P.M. A phone interview will be conducted to determine the new monthly payment the widow/widower will receive and a follow up appointment will be scheduled. For those wishing to apply in person, the local Social Security office is located at 7440 Providence Dr. Woodridge, however, an appointment should be made by calling 866-303-2724 between the hours of 9-5. Many questions can also be answered at www.ssa.gov/benefits/survivors.