What Is a Social Security One-Time Payment?

A Social Security one-time payment is a payment made to a spouse or child upon the death of a spouse or parent if certain criteria are met. Usually, the payment is made to the spouse if he was living in the same household at the time of the worker's death.

If the spouse and the deceased worker were living apart at the time of the death, the spouse can still receive the payment if, during the month the worker passed away, he was already receiving benefits on his record or he became eligible for benefits at the time of his death. If there is no eligible surviving spouse, the one-time payment can be remitted to the worker's children if the children were already receiving benefits on the worker's record, or if the children became eligible to receive the benefits upon the death of the individual.