Skip to content
 

Do survivor benefits expire if you don't claim them at the earliest eligibility age?

En español | No. There is no time limit to file for a widow or widower benefit. These benefits will actually grow if you delay claiming them until you reach full retirement age.

However, there is a time limit to collect the lump-sum death benefit. This is a one-time payment of $255. To receive this payment, you must file the application (by calling Social Security at 800-772-1213 or visiting your local office) within a two-year period. Normally, this period ends with the second anniversary of the person's death.

[Editor’s note: The Social Security Administration temporarily closed local offices to the public on March 17, 2020, in response to the coronavirus threat. Social Security services remain available online and by phone. We will update this article when the field offices reopen.]

Updated March 17, 2020

Join the Discussion

0 | Add Yours

Please leave your comment below.

You must be logged in to leave a comment.

GO TO THIS ARTICLE