Many funeral directors as part of their services package, notify the Social Security Administration of the death. You may check to see if this was completed, or take care of the notification yourself by calling (800) 772-1213. If the decedent was receiving checks from Social Security, then you need to determine whether his last check needs to be returned to the Administration. Each Social Security check is a payment for the prior month. If someone dies on the last day of the month, then you should not cash the check for that month. For example, if someone dies on July 31st, then you need to return the check for that the agency mails out in August. If however, the decedent died on August 1st then the check sent in August need not be returned because that check is payment for the month of July. If the Social Security check is electronically deposited into a bank account then notify the bank that the account holder died and notify the Social Security Administration as well. If the check needs to be returned, then the Social Security Administration will withdraw it electronically from the bank account. You will need to keep the account open until the funds are withdrawn. A one-time payment of $255.00 is payable to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the beneficiary at the time of death, or if living apart, was eligible for Social Security benefits on the beneficiary’s earnings records for the month of death.

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