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Social Security Payments

Monthly Social Security benefits are paid to a spouse or a divorced spouse, age 60 or over; a spouse or divorced spouse regardless of age with children of the decedent under age 16 or disabled in their care and meeting social security requirements.  A divorced spouse must have been married to the service member at least 10 years.

Monthly payments are also paid to children until age 18 or 19 if a full-time student at a primary or secondary school, or age 18 or older and disabled before age 18.  Spouses waiting until age 65 to apply for Social Security receive maximum benefits.  However, they can receive reduced Social Security payments between ages 60 and 65.  Dependent parents are eligible for benefits at age 62 if they were more than 50 percent dependent on the deceased service member for their support. 

The amount paid can only be determined by the Social Security Administration, which has a record of the wages earned by the member during the period of both military and civilian employment under the Social Security Program.  To receive this benefit, eligible survivors should make application through the nearest Social Security office.  They will explain the benefit, determine your eligibility, the amounts that can be paid, and help you complete the required claim forms.  You should apply early, as the law generally permits retroactive payments of 12 months.

Social Security Lump Sum Death Payment

The Social Security Administration pays a lump sum death payment, up to $255, to the surviving spouse living with the member at the time of death.  Separation because of military service, is considered living together.  If there is no surviving spouse, it is paid to the oldest child who was eligible for or entitled to Social Security benefits for the month of death, based upon the deceased member’s earnings.  No other survivors are entitled to this benefit.

This benefit is paid regardless if burial, funeral, or memorial benefits were paid by the Navy. To receive this benefit, eligible survivors must make application through the nearest Social Security office. They will explain the benefit, determine your eligibility, the amount that can be paid, and help you complete the required claim forms.