Ask Rusty – Will My Husband’s Benefits Continue After He Dies?

Dear Rusty: My husband is 65 and I am 55. He has recently been diagnosed with terminal lung cancer. My question is, will I continue receiving his full social security check every month after his passing? Will the amount decrease? Signed: Tearful Wife

Dear Tearful Wife: So sorry to hear of your husband’s condition. If he is now receiving Social Security benefits, when he passes your husband’s Social Security payments will stop. You will be able to keep the payment received in the month your husband dies (which is for the previous month), but any payments made thereafter must be returned to the Social Security Administration (SSA). FYI, normally the funeral director who handles arrangements sends a death certificate to Social Security, which will stop your husband’s SS benefits effective with the payment for his month of death. However, you should notify the bank which receives your husband’s SS payment of his death, and they will automatically return any later incorrect payments to the SSA.

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