Program Description

Social Security's Lump Sum Death Payment (LSDP) is federally funded and managed by the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements.

Program Requirements

To qualify for this payment, the surviving spouse must be living in the same household with the worker when he or she died. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, the spouse met one of the following requirements:

If there's no eligible surviving spouse, the lump-sum can be paid to the worker's child (or children) if, during the month the worker died, the child met one of the following requirements:

If you would like to find out if you may be eligible for any of Social Security benefit programs, take SSA’s Benefit Eligibility Screening Tool.

Once you have completed the eligibility screening questionnaire, you will be provided with a list of benefits for which you may be eligible. Print this page for your records before going to the application site.

Application Process

The eligible surviving spouse or child must apply for this payment within two years of the date of death.

Widows, widowers, and surviving divorced spouses cannot apply online for survivor’s benefits. For application information, please visit the How To Apply page.

Contact Information

Visit SSA's Publications page for detailed information about SSA programs and policies.

Benefit Categories
family
Family Social Security
umbrella
Insurance Social Security