When someone who has worked enough to qualify for Social Security benefits dies, their closest surviving relative can receive a lump sum payment of $255 to help cover expenses. Other Social Security benefits are paid on a monthly basis to surviving spouses and children as designated by the deceased. The widow or widower generally receives 100 percent of the deceased's benefits in addition to their own. Make sure that your funeral home provides the service of notifying Social Security of the death or you will have to make that call yourself.
Gather documentation to prove that you are eligible for the payout. Documents such as your birth certificate, naturalization papers, a U.S. military discharge or a W-2 form or tax return.
Bring your documents to your local Social Security Administration office.
Fill out the application for benefits including your name and Social Security number; the name, gender, date of birth and Social Security number of the deceased person; the deceased person's date and place of death.
Prepare to answer a number of questions including the names, dates of births and social Security numbers of surviving children, whether the deceased worker ever served in the military, and whether he applied for benefits through Social Security.
Sign the application and submit it to the Social Security Administration. If you wish to sign up for a direct deposit of your benefit payment, bring along your checkbook or account number as well.