The Survivor’s Guide to Social Security Benefits

About the Course:
This will review a brief history of Social Security and why it was implemented. This course focuses on assisting funeral directors with supporting survivors and identify what the families are entitled to from Social Security when losing a spouse, child, or parent in death.

Learning Objectives: 
Upon completion of this course, the learner should be able to:
  • State a brief history of Social Security.
  • Distinguish the difference between Social Security and Supplemental Security Income.
  • Discuss the importance of a Social Security number.
  • Recite the three types of benefits that Social Security offers.
  • Examine what Social Security credits are.
  • Identify how Social Security credits work and why beneficiaries need them.
  • Determine how to apply for Social Security benefits.
  • Distinguish who is eligible to receive survivor benefits.
  • Discuss what happens if no one is eligible to receive survivor benefits.
  • Recognize who notifies Social Security when a loved one dies.
  • Identify whose responsibility it is to stop Social Security benefits when someone dies.
  • Explain the lump sum death benefit.
  • Review one-time death benefit and how it relates to funeral expenses.
  • Assess how long will it take to receive the one-time death benefit and begin receiving survivor’s benefits.
About the Author:
Karen Roldan, LFD,
is a Licensed Indiana Funeral Director and Embalmer. After completing her funeral service education at Worsham College of Mortuary with an Associates of Science Degree, she has continued to work in the industry for the last 14 years. She works as a freelance writer and contributor for NAMI and