How to apply for benefits:
You may apply for benefits
by telephone or by going to any Social Security
Office. Some of the documents and information
you will need are outlined below. You should begin
the application process without delay. This will
enable you to determine the documents you have
and which documents you will need to obtain. Your
social security office can help you with this.
You will need to submit original documents or
copies certified by the issuing office. You can bring them to the
social security office or mail them. If mailed, a certified return
receipt is advised. Social Security will make photocopies and return
your documents to you.
- Your Social Security
number and the deceased worker’s Social
- A death certificate: your
funeral director can provide you with the document.
- Proof of the deceased worker’s
earnings for the last year (W-2 forms or self-employment
- Your birth certificate.
- A marriage certificate, if
you are applying for benefits as a widow, widower,
divorced wife, or divorced husband.
- A divorce decree if you are
applying for benefits as a divorced wife or husband.
- Children’s birth certificates
& SS# if applying for children’s benefits.
- A checking or saving account
number if you elect direct deposit of SS benefits.
You will also need the banks address and transit
If you are 65 or older, disabled, or blind, ask
the Social Security representative about the Supplemental
Security Income (SSI) checks for people with limited
income & resources. If you receive SSI, you
may qualify for Medicaid, food stamps and other
For more information:
Write, visit, or telephone any Social Security Office. The toll-free
number is 1-800-772-1213. You can speak with a representative 7
a.m. to 7 p.m.
If the deceased was receiving Social Security
benefits, any checks, which arrive after the date
of the death, may need to be returned to the Social
Security Office. If Social Security checks were
being directly deposited into bank account, the
bank needs to be notified of the death.