Q: I’m helping my sister, whose husband passed away. Does she need to return his Social Security payment since he died on the 28th? And, what items will she need to file for his death benefits?
A: Remember, retirement benefits are paid one month behind — January’s payment is made in February. If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, she must return the benefit received for the month he passed or any later months.
Example, if the person dies in February, you must return the benefit paid in March. If benefits were paid by direct deposit, she should contact the bank or other financial institution. Request that any funds received for the month of death or later be returned to Social Security. If the benefits were paid by check, she should not cash any checks received for the month in which the person dies or later. Return the checks to Social Security as soon as possible.
Possible needed items include: Proof of death — either from a funeral home or a death certificate; her Social Security number, as well as the deceased worker’s; her birth and marriage certificate; dependent children’s Social Security numbers and birth certificates; and the name of her bank and account number for direct deposit.
Send questions to Robert Fenn, Social Security Administration, Second Floor, Federal Building, 2 S. Main St., Akron, OH 44308. Fax: 330-375-5616 or e-mail: Robert.Fenn@ssa.gov.