Social Security Lump Sum Death Benefit

Regular Army: Retired

Benefit Fact Sheet



A one-time payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving Spouse of a deceased Soldier if he or she was living with the deceased, or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased Soldier's record. If there is no surviving Spouse, the payment is made to Children who are eligible for benefits on the deceased's record in the month of death. If no Spouse or Child meeting these requirements exists, the lump-sum death payment will not be paid.


The deceased Soldier must have been either fully insured or currently insured under the Social Security system. Generally, the benefit is paid only to eligible survivors who were already receiving or are eligible to receive immediate monthly benefits derived from the earnings record of the deceased. Former Spouses are not eligible for this benefit. The benefit may not be paid directly to a funeral home. Military duty status at time of death is not a factor in determining eligibility.

Benefit Highlights:

Only one beneficiary may receive the Lump Sum Death Benefit. If more than one beneficiary is eligible, such as in the case of multiple eligible Children, the Children would split the $255 lump sum. The current amount of $255 has not changed since its inception and is not indexed for inflation. Application is made by calling 1-800-772-1213. (TTY 1-800-325-0778)

Additional Information:

For more information, please visit the Social Security Lump Sum Death Benefit webpage maintained by the Social Security Administration:

For information required when applying for the Lump-Sum Death Benefit:

Army Casualty:

Document Review Date: 6 May 2015