You cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online.
Social Security should be notified as soon as possible when a person dies.
In most cases, the funeral home will report the person’s death to Social Security. You should give the funeral home the deceased person’s Social Security number if you want them to make the report.
If you need to report a death or apply for benefits, call (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can speak to a Social Security representative between 7 AM and 7 PM Monday through Friday. You can also contact your local Social Security office. An appointment is not required, but if you call ahead and schedule one, it may reduce the time you spend waiting to speak to someone.
What will happen when I report a death?
If you are getting benefits on your spouse’s or parent’s record:
You generally will not need to file an application for survivors’ benefits.
We’ll automatically change any monthly benefits you receive to survivor benefits after we receive the report of death.
We may be able to pay the Special Lump-Sum Death Payment automatically.
If you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record:
You will need to apply for the survivor benefits.
We will check to see whether you can get a higher benefit as a widow or widower.
If you are not getting benefits, you should apply for survivor benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive.
What documents do I need when I apply?
Please select the benefit you will be applying for from the list below to see what information and documents you may need when you apply:
Widows/Widowers or Surviving Divorced Spouse’s Benefits
Mother’s or Father’s Benefits (You must have a child age under age 16 or disabled in your care.)
Lump-Sum Death Payment
Parent’s Benefits (You must have been dependent on your child at the time of his or her death.)
If you don’t have all the documents you need, don’t delay signing up for Social Security.
In many cases, your local Social Security office can contact your state Bureau of Vital Statistics and verify your information online at no cost to you. If we can’t verify your information online, we can still help you get the information you need.
For more information, please read:
How Social Security Can Help You When A Family Member Dies