What Happens to Benefits After a Recipient Passes Away?

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For many Americans, Social Security is a type of retirement income – often the leading form. Benefits are paid each month based upon a number of factors including how much money the recipient paid into the system while working. So, what happens to someone’s Social Security benefits after they pass away?

This story by CNBC breaks it down into easy-to-understand terms. Basically, Social Security benefits stop when the recipient dies. In fact, no benefit is paid for the month of death and if a benefit payment was made, it needs to be refunded.

What many people may not realize is that survivors benefits may be available for family members. If a spouse (or qualified dependent) was already receiving money based on the deceased’s record, that benefit will automatically convert to survivors benefits once the government is notified of the death. In all other cases, the surviving spouse will need to schedule an appointment with the Social Security Administration to apply for survivors benefits. Even an ex-spouse may be able to claim benefits in certain circumstances.

The Seniors Trust is committed to protecting the retirement security of seniors through passage of the Social Security Expansion Act. This critical piece of legislation will strengthen, protect, and guarantee seniors the Social Security benefits they earned. You can help support its efforts by signing this petition to Congress.

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