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When a loved one who receives Social Security benefits dies, you may wonder how the government knows to stop sending that monthly money.
Or perhaps there is a surviving spouse or dependent dependent on that income and wondering if some kind of payment could continue.
While social security rules can be complex, the bottom line is that the benefits of the deceased stop at death. For survivors, how you receive benefits – or whether you qualify – depends on several factors.
First, it is important that the Social Security Administration be alerted as soon as possible after the person’s death.
In most cases, the funeral homes notify the government. over there Sample available Used by those companies to report the death.
“The person who acts as the implementer [of the estate] Or the surviving spouse could also contact Social Security, ”said Certified Financial Planner Peggy Sherman, Principal Adviser at Briaud Financial Advisors at College Station, Texas.
There are a few things to keep in mind. For starters, a person is not entitled to Social Security benefits for the month of his death.
“Any compensation that is paid a month after a person’s death must be refunded,” Sherman said.
With Social Security, each payment received represents the previous month’s benefits. So if someone dies in January, the check for that month – which will be paid in February – should be returned if received. If payment is made by direct deposit, the bank that maintains the account must be notified so that it can return the benefits sent after the person’s death.
It may not be surprising that using someone else’s benefits after their death is a Federal crimeRegardless of whether the death was reported or not. If the Social Security Administration receives a notification of fraud, the claim is reviewed and it is likely that it will warrant a criminal investigation. To combat duplication, the agency matches records with other government entities to determine unreported deaths.
As for benefits available to survivors: If a eligible spouse or dependent is already receiving money based on the record of the deceased, the benefit will automatically be converted to heir benefits when the government receives notification of the death, Sherman said.
“For all other cases, the surviving spouse will need to contact Social Security and set an appointment to file a claim for Survivor Benefits,” Sherman said. “You can’t do this online.”
Sherman said that if the widow or widower reaches full retirement age, they can get the full benefit of the deceased spouse. They can apply for reduced benefits as early as the age of 60, unlike the age of 62.
If a survivor is eligible for Social Security on his own record, he can switch to his own benefits anytime between the ages of 62 and 70 if his own payments are more.
The deceased’s ex-spouse may also be able to claim benefits, as long as they fulfill some specific qualifications.
For Minor children of the deceased person, Benefits may also be available, in addition to a surviving spouse caring for the children.
Finally, upon the death of the recipient of Social Security, the survivors are generally granted Pay a total of $ 255.