How much a spouse receives in death benefits varies depending on the deceased's lifetime earnings. The amount a spouse receives also varies depending on the age of the spouse at death as well as the age of the widow or widower.
The calculation that determines the amount of survivor benefits also takes into account how much the deceased would receive if alive, as the survivor's benefit cannot exceed this amount. Surviving spouses who meet certain requirements are eligible to receive a one-time lump sum payment upon the death of a spouse.
Death benefits are administered by the Social Security Administration.