October 26 2020 0Comment
Cremation services in the area of Everson, WA

After Death: Handling Social Security Benefits

After Cremation services in the area of Everson, WA, there are many things that you will need to do to wrap up your loved one’s affairs. If your loved one was a senior citizen, then one of the things that you’ll need to do is handle their Social Security benefits.

The fog of grief after your loved one dies may make it difficult for you to turn your mind to practical matters of handling their final affairs and settling their estates after they die. However, it’s important that these things be done accurately and as soon as possible after your loved one’s death.

One aspect that few people understand about managing their loved ones’ final affairs is how to handle their loved one’s final Social Security benefits check. It can be easy to assume that the estate is entitled to keep this last check and that it can be used toward paying for funeral expenses, if there are any outstanding balances.

However, in most cases, your deceased loved one’s final Social Security payment must be return to the Social Security Administration (SSA).

To understand why this is the case, you have to understand how the timing of Social Security payments works.

Social Security benefits are paid the month after the month they are due. They are payable only if someone is alive for the whole month in which they were due (not a portion of it).

For example, your loved one may have had a Social Security check deposited in their bank account in September, but the benefit was actually due in August. As long as your loved one is alive in the entire month of August, then the money paid by SSA stays with the estate.

However, if your loved one dies in September, and SSA pays the September benefit in October, that payment must be returned to SSA, because your loved one was not alive for the entire month in which the benefit was due.

Therefore, one of the first things that you should do after the death of a loved one is to notify Social Security of their death. Some funeral homes do this as part of the services they provide (be sure to bring your loved one’s Social Security card to the funeral home when you make arrangements), so check with your funeral director to see if this notification is something they will do or that you will need to do.

If you need to contact SSA, you can call them at 800-772-1213 between 7 am and 7 pm EST, Monday through Friday, or you can visit your local Social Security office. Although SSA has updated their web services to allow you to do many Social Security functions online, there is currently no way to report your loved one’s death online.

If SSA is notified promptly of your loved one’s death, the odds are good that you will not have to worry about receiving a benefits payment that was due in the month in which your loved one died. However, if you did receive a final Social Security payment for a month in which you’re loved one was not alive for the whole month, then do not spend it. If the payment was made by direct deposit, then the SSA will request the automatic withdrawal of the payment from your financial institution.

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If your loved one’s Social Security benefits were not automatically deposited, then you are responsible for returning the final Social Security benefits check to the SSA. Make sure you do this using certified and trackable mailing options in case you need proof later on that you returned the final payment.

For information about cremation services serving the area of Everson, WA, our compassionate and experienced team at Moles Farewell Tributes & Crematory – Greenacres Memorial Park is here to help.

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