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When is a lump-sum paid to the surviving widow(er)?

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

430. When is a lump-sum paid to the surviving widow(er)?

You are eligible for the lump-sum death payment based on your relationship with the worker as husband and wife if both of the following conditions are met:

  1. You were living in the same household as the worker when the worker died. This rule also applies when there is an absence; and

  2. You filed an application for the lump-sum within the required time limit (see §§1517-1519).

(See §402 for the definition of a "widow(er).")

Last Revised: March, 2001



There are 6 Comments

my husband died on the 2nd of november 2008 do i have to return the funds because i used those funds for his funneral

Please see this from How Social Security Can Help You When A Family Member Dies :

If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, you must return the benefit received for the month of death or any later months. For example, if the person dies in July, you must return the benefit paid in August. If benefits were paid by direct deposit, contact the bank or other financial institution. Request that any funds received for the month of death or later be returned to Social Security. If the benefits were paid by check, do not cash any checks received for the month in which the person dies or later. Return the checks to Social Security as soon as possible.

However, eligible family members may be able to receive death benefits for the month in which the beneficiary died.

We received this form social security benefits statement how many days do we have to wait for the clearing of this matter to our account.
thank you

I'm not sure I understand what is meant by "clearing this matter to our account". Form SSA-1099 is an informational report. It reports to you your total Social Security income for last year and is used when preparing your income taxes. It is not a receipt for a single benefit deposit.

My ex-husband passed away in december. I was married to my husband for 16 years then we divorced. I have never remarried. I am 61 yrs. old.

I worked for the railroad from 1969 until 1992. I now work for University of Penn hospital (15 yrs.)

Am I entitled to my ex-husband's social security?

We're not experts on the Railroad Retirement Program, but the following post may be useful :

We also found the following excerpt which indicates a good degree of coordination between the Railroad Retirement Program and Social Security :

Retirement Benefits. By design, Tier I retirement benefits are generally calculated to mimic comparable Social Security benefits, and employ the same benefit formula, based on the highest 35 years of indexed earnings.

Spousal Benefits. Tier I benefits are also provided to spouses of employees qualifying for Railroad Retirement benefits...Divorced spouses are eligible for Tier I spousal benefits under the same conditions as those that apply to Social Security.

Spousal Benefits. As with Social Security, RRB survivor benefits can be paid to widows, widowers, divorced spouses, dependent parents, and children who are under age 18, 18–19 years old and a full-time student (12th grade or below), or disabled prior to age 22.


Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration