Once again, from the SSA website, itself: https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou7.html "A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements. Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household with the worker when they died. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, they: were already receiving benefits on the worker's record; or became eligible for benefits upon the worker's death. If there's no eligible surviving spouse, the lump-sum can be paid to the worker's child (or children) if, during the month the worker died, the child: was already receiving benefits on the worker's record; or became eligible for benefits upon the worker's death. If the eligible surviving spouse or child is not currently receiving benefits, they must apply for this payment within two years of the date of death. For more information about this lump-sum payment, contact your local Social Security office or call 1-800-772-1213 ( TTY 1-800-325-0778)." For a program as well documented as Social Security, there is a plethora of commonly accepted misinformation disseminated.