After a death occurs, the funeral home sends a statement of death to the Grand Island Social Security office as soon as we have the deceased’s Social Security number. Most applications can be completed over the phone or through the mail. Application must be made within two years of the date of the death of the insured worker. When all of the records have been assembled by Social Security they will be able to appraise you of what other benefits are available.
The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.
The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death.
Who May Receive Monthly Benefits
A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full lime).
Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled.
Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.
Lump-Sum Death Payment
A one time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:
A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death.
A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death.
A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death.
Applying for Benefits
You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at the Grand Island Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Either call the Grand Island Social Security office at 308-385-6440 or dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.
Social Security Teleservice -- Doing Business by Telephone
You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The number to use is 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 7:00 p.m. on regular business days. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.
You may use the toll-free number to make an appointment either in a Social Security office or telephone to apply for benefits, transact other Social Security business, or just ask questions.
The following benefits are available to an honorably discharged U.S. Veteran:
Service-Related Death. VA will pay up to $2,000 toward burial expenses for deaths on or after September 11, 2001. VA will pay up to $1,500 for deaths prior to September 10, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
Nonservice-Related Death. VA will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses, and a $300 plot-interment allowance for deaths on or after December 1, 2001. The plot-interment allowance is $150 for deaths prior to December 1, 2001. If the death happened while the veteran was in a VA hospital or under VA contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the deceased’s remains may be reimbursed.
Under some circumstances there are survivors’ benefits for spouses and minor children.
National or State Cemetery
Burial benefits available include a gravesite in any of the 125 national cemeteries with available space, opening and closing of the grave at no cost to the family. Cremated remains are buried or inurned in national cemeteries in the same manner and with the same honors as casketed remains.
Burial benefits available for spouses and dependents buried in a national cemetery include burial with the veteran, perpetual care, and the spouse or dependents name and date of birth and death will be inscribed on the veteran’s headstone, at no cost to the family.
A burial flag for the funeral services will be provided to veterans for all discharges other than dishonorable.
A government grave marker for all veterans that have died after September 11, 2001. For deaths previous to that date, a marker will be provided for veteran’s graves that are not marked with a private marker.