Topic Categories:

Overview of Disability

Disability Back Pay

Requirements for Disability

Applications for disability

Tips and Advice for Disability Claims

How long does Disability take?

Winning Disability Benefits

Common Mistakes after a Denial

Mental Disability Benefits

Denials for Disability

Appeals for denied claims

Disability Benefits from SSA

SSI Benefits

Child Disability Benefits

Qualifications and How to Qualify

Working and Disability

Disability Awards and Notices

Disability Lawyers, Hiring Attorneys

Social Security List of Conditions

What Social Security considers disabling

Medical Evidence and Disability

Filing for Disability Benefits

Eligibility for Disability Benefits

SSD SSI Definitions

Ask a question, get an answer

When a person that has been receiving SSD monthly payments dies, how is the last payment made?

This question comes from Caroline.

When a person that has been receiving SSD monthly payments dies, how is the last payment made? I heard that the last payment has to be returned, is that correct? Or is it prorated per day? Are the payments paid in advance for the month? Thank you. Asking for a friend, she has no computer.


Social Security payments are always made for the previous month; the deceased person may be due a check in the month that they passed away. Social Security views all Social Security checks like paper checks even if they are direct deposit--the entitled person has to be living on the day the check is paid (endorsing the check on the back with a signature).

If the deceased person passed away before the date they were to receive their payment for the month, their check must be returned. If they receive a paper check, it must be taken to the local Social Security office, if the check is direct deposit the bank generally returns them.

Social Security does not prorate checks; an individual must have been living the entire month to be entitled to a check for the month. For example, if Mr. Jones was receiving disability benefits and he passed away on June 25, there would be no payment due in July because he was not living the entire month of June.

The priority order for payment of Social Security underpayment benefits (benefits owed to the deceased) are as follows:

1. Spouse either living in the same household at the time of their death, or entitled to a monthly widow or widowerís benefit for the month of their death;

2. Child or children entitled to a monthly benefit on the deceased personís earningís record in the month of their death;

3. Parent or parents entitled to a monthly dependent parentís benefit on the deceased personís for the month of his death;

The last three involve spouses, children, or parents who do not fall in any of the above mentioned situations.

Your friend may be entitled to some kind of survivor benefit as well. Social Security pays a lump sum 255.00 death benefit and potentially other survivor benefits.

Return to:  Social Security Disability Resource Center, or read answers to Questions

Related pages:

If you do not have a significant earnings history, can you be eligible for disability payments?
SSI disability when you share household expenses
Receiving SSDI payments and working below the Social Security SGA limit
If You Get Workers Comp, Will You Get Disability From Social Security?
What Income Will Affect Your Disability Benefits? (Workers Compensation, Wages etc)
When a person that has been receiving SSD monthly payments dies, how is the last payment made?

Information on the following topics can be found here: Social Security Disability Questions and in these subsections:

Frequently asked questions about getting Denied for Disability Benefits | FAQ on Disability Claim Representation | Info about Social Security Disability Approvals and Being Approved | FAQ on Social Security Disability SSI decisions | The SSD SSI Decision Process and what gets taken into consideration | Disability hearings before Judges | Medical exams for disability claims | Applying for Disability in various states | Selecting and hiring Disability Lawyers | Applying for Disability in North Carolina | Recent articles and answers to questions about SSD and SSI

These pages answer some of the most basic questions for individuals who are considering filing a claim.

Filing for disability - How to file for SSD or SSI and the Information that is needed by Social Security
How to Apply for Disability - What medical conditions can you apply and qualify for?
Applying for Disability - How long does it take to get Social Security Disability or SSI benefits?
What happens if I file a disability application and it is denied by a disability examiner or Judge?
How to Prove you are disabled and qualify to win disability benefits
How do you prove your disability case if you have a mental condition or impairment?
Social Security Disability Back pay and How Long it Takes to Qualify for it and receive it
Social Security Disability SSI - Eligibility Requirements and Qualifications Criteria