Q:

Where can you find information about Medicare death benefits for burial?

A:

Quick Answer

As of 2015, Medicare does not offer death benefits to help with burial; however, survivors can find information about Social Security death benefits on the Social Security website, reports the Social Security Administration. Qualifying survivors can receive a lump sum death benefit to help with burial expenses.

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Full Answer

Medicare Part A helps with hospital services, including hospice care, and Medicare Part B helps with medical expenses, but neither form of insurance provides death benefits or burial expenses, according to Medicare.gov. Social Security offers both a monthly survivor's benefit and a lump sum death benefit for qualifying survivors, states the Social Security Administration. If the survivor is already receiving Social Security benefits on the earnings record of a parent or spouse, Social Security distributes the benefits automatically upon receiving the notice of death. Survivors not receiving benefits or receiving benefits on their own record must apply for survivor's benefits.

Survivors cannot apply for benefits online; they must phone or appear in person at a Social Security office, notes the Social Security Administration. Surviving children or spouses may receive the one-time lump sum death benefit if they were living with the beneficiary at the time of death, already receiving benefits based on the worker's earnings or due to begin receiving benefits at the time of death. Survivors should apply for benefits as soon as possible after the worker's death, as there is a two-year limit to apply for the lump sum death benefit, and the monthly survivor's benefits may not be retroactive.

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