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 you must be a surviving spouse who was 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:

You could get a Social Security lump sum death payment (LSDP) if your spouse had enough work credits and if Social Security has not already paid you a LSDP. 

Application Process

If the eligible surviving spouse or child is not currently receiving benefits, they 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

Would you like more information about the lump sum death payment?

Visit SSA's Publications Page and review Chapter 4 of the Social Security Handbook.

Benefit Categories
Family Social Security
Spouse & Widow(er) Social Security