For the safety of our clients and staff, and as required by law, all Ettinger Law Firm offices are closed until we are permitted to reopen.

Please be assured that all staff is currently working remotely and are available to you by email or phone.

All staff will be checking their phone and email messages daily.*

Please call our Director of Client Relations, Pattie Brown, at 1-800-500-2525 ext. 117 or email Pattie at if you need any further assistance.

* You can also use this link to schedule a phone consultation with one of our attorneys.

Do Not Forget to Apply for SSI Death Benefits if You are a Surviving Spouse or Child

The passing of a loved one is never an easy event. While families take time to grieve and mourn the loss of a parent or spouse, many estate-related details that can greatly impact the estate’s financial situation may be overlooked. By taking some time to understand what types of benefits Social Security Insurance (SSI) recipients qualified for before their passing, surviving family members can more easily claim these benefits and relieve some of the financial strain of laying a loved one to rest.


Believe it or not, many people forget to claim SSI death benefits after the passing of a senior loved one. These benefits help provide funds towards the cost of funeral or burial for surviving spouses or children of SSI eligible individuals. The program is administered by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA) and provides a $225 Social Security Lump Sum Death Payment (LSDP) benefit.


President Franklin D. Roosevelt created the administration in 1935 during his first term during the New Deal. The SSA provides benefits for the elderly, disabled, widows, and many other vulnerable citizens. The $225 is the original amount written into law and stands today to aid those in need.


While the payment amount may seem meager considering the rising costs of funerals and burials, every little bit of money goes a long way to helping struggling families alleviate financial burdens. The qualifications for the LSDP are quite straightforward and the SSA even offers online tools to help prospective beneficiaries determine their eligibility.


How do I know if I qualify for Social Security Lump Sum Death Payment benefits?


To qualify for the LSDP benefit, the beneficiary must be a surviving spouse living in the same household as the deceased. However, surviving spouses separated from the deceased the same month as the death may still qualify for benefits if the spouse was already receiving benefits on the deceased’s record or became eligible for benefits upon the deceased’s death.


In cases where the deceased leaves behind no surviving spouse, the deceased’s children may qualify for the LSDP benefit. For surviving children to qualify for the payment, the beneficiary must have already been receiving benefits on the deceased’s record or became eligible for such benefits at the time of the deceased’s passing.


Surviving family members needing more assistance following the passing of a loved one should contact their local community services department or senior services department for more information. With just a little time and effort, survivors can make great strides to overcoming some of the financial hardships and focus on what is important; family and grieving.


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