Social Security Facts

The following checklist is designed to help you file for your Social Security benefits correctly so that prompt payments may be made.


The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death. Those who may receive monthly benefits are:

Lump-Sum Death Payment

The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:

  1. A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death

  2. A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death

  3. A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death

Applying for Benefits

You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at our local Social Security office located at 80 Robinson Street, Pottstown, PA 19464 or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-866-964-7415, and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.

Contact Social Security

You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The number to use is 1-866-964-7415. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 9:00am and 4:00pm on regular business days, except Wednesdays call between the hours 9:00am and 12:00pm. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message, and they will call you back.

You may use the toll-free number to make an appointment either in a Social Security office or telephone to apply for benefits, transact other Social Security business, or just ask questions.