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Checks received after death of recipient



Social Security benefits are not pro-rated. To be entitled to a Social Security benefit check for a given month, the person must be alive the entire month. No benefit is payable for the month of death.

You can return the check to your local Social Security office. If the payment is made by direct deposit, the U.S. Treasury will automatically debit the bank account.

This would likely be classified as an overpayment.

If you were not at fault in causing the overpayment, you may not have to repay it.

You may request a waiver of repayment of the overpayment at any time by completing a Form SSA-632 and returning it to your local office or you may call the SSA at the toll-free number shown on your overpayment notice.

The SSA recovers an overpayment by withholding your monthly Social Security check until the overpayment is paid back in full. If the overpaid individual is no longer receiving Social Security payments, then they will ask the overpaid individual for a full refund. They also can withhold a Social security payment from another individual currently receiving benefits on the same earnings record.

If paying back the money would be a hardship, the SSA might accept installment payments or offer a compromise settlement. A compromise is where they accept an amount less than the full overpayment and forgive repayment of the rest of the debt.

My Mother passed this month. She paid into the Social Security Administration all her life. You are holding many thousands of dollars that now belong to her family.
I have read your self crafted rules that seem to screw the beneficiaries of the deceased.
I am interested in a "yes" or "no" answer with regard to the following question, "does and, or can a daughter who is a beneficiary to my mother's estate and I was also her caretaker, receive the balance of "my Mother's money" that is currently being held and administered by the Social Security Administration?

I'll be looking forward to your reply


Please note this site is not associated with the federal government in any way. We only try to help folks understand the Social Security system.

There are (at least) three potential areas of concern here.

First are survivor benefits. These are, potentially, a long-term stream of monthly payments to qualified survivors. Generally, I would say survivor benefits are limited to folks who have difficulty caring for themselves -- ex. children 18 and under, and widows/widowers over 60 (50 if disabled).

Second are one-time death benefits. There is a one-time lump-sum death payment of $255 is payable to a child if there is no surviving spouse.

Third is the final retirement (or disability) check payable to the decedent in the month of death. Social Security benefits are not payable for the month in which a beneficiary dies. So, for example, if a mother died February 25 her estate is NOT entitled to the check which arrived March 3, which is for the month of February.


Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration