Program Description

The Social Security Lump Sum Death Payment (LSDP) Benefits are a federally funded program 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.

General Program Requirements

To qualify for this benefit 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, he or she:

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:


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

Your Next Steps

The following information will lead you to the next steps to apply for this program.

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.

Program Contact Information

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

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

Would you like more information about social security credits?
Visit SSA’s Publications Home page and review "Social Security: How You Earn Credits," Social Security Publication Number 05-10072.

Or for additional information on this and any SSA benefit, call:
1-800-772-1213 (TTY: 1-800-325-0778)