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Social Security: Applying for lump sum death benefits worth $255

When spouses or children who were being supported with a social security recipient’s benefits, they may claim a sum of money.

The one-time payment of $255 is not the same as survivor benefits, but in some cases people may claim both.

First, spouses take priority when claiming the $255. After them children of the beneficiary are prioritized.

Related: What will happen to my social security when I die?

How to apply for the lump sum social security survivor benefit

To apply call 1-800-772-1213, the national Social Security Administration office. You can also visit any social security office, including your local one. There is no way to apply online.

There is no appointment necessary, but it helps to call and arrange a meeting if you don’t want to wait.

To prepare, be aware of documents you may need so you have them all on hand at the initial meeting. Documents include birth certificate or proof of birth, proof of U.S. citizenship, military discharge papers, W-2 forms for the previous year, and the death certificate for the person you’re claiming benefits from.

All documents but the W-2 forms need to be original.

Related: Social Security: What age do recipients no longer pay taxes on benefits?

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