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Doesn't Social Security Pay for a Funeral?

Published: October 17, 2022

Doesn’t social security pay for a funeral?

There are two kinds of social security survivor benefits. One is the death benefit and the other is a one-time survivor benefit. The social security death benefit depends on the eligibility of the deceased. They must have worked for long enough and paid into social security long enough to qualify for benefits.

"The number of credits needed to provide benefits for your survivors depends on your age when you die. No one needs more than 40 credits (10 years of work) to be eligible for any Social Security benefit. But the younger a person is, the fewer credits they must have for family members to receive survivors' benefits."

A surviving spouse or child may receive a social security lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements. The lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household as the worker when they died. If the spouse was not living with the worker or if there is no eligible surviving spouse, the lump-sum can be paid to the worker's child (or children) if, during the month the worker died, the child met one of the following:

Was already receiving benefits on the worker's record.

Became eligible for benefits upon the worker's death.

This death benefit of $255 generally is not enough to cover the full cost of a funeral. To learn about more ways to pay for a funeral, check out this podcast:

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