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Social Security Benefits

Our commitment of service to all families served by Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd. includes the submission of the proper forms to the Social Security Administration. We will submit a ‘Statement of Death by Funeral Director,’ form SSA-721 directly to the Social Security Administration to assist your family in the time of loss. Many families find this to be the easiest way to work with Socials Security. However you some families still prefer to contact the Social Security Administration on their own, while this can be quite time consuming (see contact information below).

The following information is supplied by the Social Security Administration. We hope it will be helpful.

How Social Security helps families

Social Security survivors benefits help ease the financial burden that follows a worker’s death. Almost all children under age 18 will get monthly benefits if a working parent dies. Other family members may be eligible for benefits, too.

Anyone who has worked and paid Social Security (FICA) taxes has been earning Social Security benefits for his or her family. The amount of work needed to pay survivors benefits depends on the worker’s age at the time of death. It may be as little as 1- ½ years for a young worker. No one needs more than 10 years.

Who can get survivors benefits?

Here is a list of family members who usually can get benefits:

  • Widows and widowers age 60 or older.
  • Widows and widowers at any age if caring for the deceased’s child(ren) who are under age 16 or disabled.
  • Divorced wives and husbands age 60 or older, if married to the deceased 10 years or more.
  • Widows, widowers, divorced wives, and divorced husbands age 50 or older, if they are disabled.
  • Children up to age 18.
  • Children age 18-19, if they attend elementary school or high school full time.
  • Children over age 18, if they became disabled before age 22.
  • The deceased worker’s parents age 62 or older, if they were being supported by the worker.

A special one-time payment

In addition to the monthly benefits for family members, a one-time payment of $255 can be paid to a spouse who was living with the worker at the time of death.

If there is none, it can be paid to:

  • A spouse who is eligible for benefits
  • A child or children eligible for benefits

    This payment cannot be made if there is no eligible spouse or child.

How to apply for benefits

You can apply for benefits by telephone or by visiting any Social Security office. You may need some of the documents listed below, but don’t delay your application if you don’t have everything. Social Security can help you obtain any missing documents.

Information needed

  • Your Social Security number and the deceased worker’s Social Security number.
  • A death certificate. (Generally, the funeral director provides a statement that can be used for this purpose.)
  • Proof of the deceased worker’s earnings for last year (W-2 forms or self-employment tax return).
  • Your birth certificate.
  • A marriage certificate, if you are applying for benefits as a widow, widower, divorced wife, or divorced husband.
  • A divorce decree, if you are applying for benefits as a divorced wife or husband.
  • Children’s birth certificates and Social Security numbers, if applying for children’s benefits.
  • Your checking or savings account information, if you want direct deposit of your benefits.

    You will need to submit original documents or copies certified by the issuing office. You can mail or bring them to the office. Social Security will make photocopies and return your documents.

Supplemental Security Income (SSI)

If you are 65 or older, disabled, or blind, ask the Social Security representative about Supplemental Security Income (SSI) checks for people with limited income and resources. If you receive SSI, you may also qualify for Medicaid, food stamps, and other social services.

For more information

While a funeral director or assistant at Hitzeman Funeral Home, Ltd. can help you with almost any of your basic general questions. You may need to direct specific inquires directly to the Socials Security Administration.

For more information, write or visit any Social Security office or call them at 1-800-772-1213. You can speak to a representative weekdays 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. The
Social Security website is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security’s programs. 

Local Social Security closest to Hitzeman Funeral Home is located at

Social Security Administration
Room 600
7222 W Cermak Rd.
North Riverside, IL  60546

Monday – Friday 9:00 A.M. – 3:30 P.M.
Except Federal Holidays

A reminder

If the deceased was receiving Social Security benefits, any checks which arrive after death will need to be returned to the Social Security office. If Social Security checks were being directly deposited into a bank account, the bank needs to be notified of the death, too.