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Report the death of a Social Security or Medicare beneficiary

When someone who receives Social Security or Medicare dies, you must notify the Social Security Administration (SSA) to cancel their benefits and payments.

How to report a death to Social Security and Medicare

The SSA handles death reports for both Social Security and Medicare recipients. To report a death, you can do one of the following:

Spouses and minor children may be eligible for Social Security survivors benefits. Visit the SSA's Survivors Benefits page to learn more.

How to return a deceased person’s Social Security payment

The SSA cannot pay benefits for the month of a recipient’s death. That means if the person died in July, the check or direct deposit received in August (which is payment for July) must be returned.

  • Find out how to return a check to the SSA.
  • If the payment is by direct deposit, notify the financial institution as soon as possible. Ask them to return the payment for the month the recipient died and any that arrived later.

LAST UPDATED: April 6, 2023


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