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my sister lives with me and she is in the final stages of lung cancer, she gets ssi on the third of the month, if she dies on the fourth of the month will that check have to be returned, she has no life insurance and the money will be needed to have her cremated, at what point will it be ok to withdraw the funds, I'm on her account

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Dear Dottieone, so sorry that you will be losing your sister to lung cancer.
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Best answer, Geewiz!
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So lesson learned and we should all make our best effort to pass on the 1st. Sorry - morbidly bad humor but really? They can't prorate for someone making it until the last week of the month? God Bless America!
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our funeral home contacted SS when my dad died on January 7th, so he'd already gotten his check in January for December but he didn't get his check he would have gotten in February for January but his funeral was already paid for and he didn't spend much money so he still had some in his checking account to cover what wasn't pre-paid, like his paper obit and the preachers
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From the Social Security Website"

A: Social Security benefits are payable to a person only if he or she is alive for the complete month. This applies whether the person was receiving SSA retirement, survivors or disability benefits based on either their own earnings or the record of someone else.

To illustrate this, if a person receiving Social Security benefits dies during February, even on the last day of the month, no benefit is payable to that person for February. No partial payments are made for a month – either you are eligible for benefits that month or you are not.

Social Security benefits for a month are received the following month. Using the above example, SSA benefits received by this person in February were for the month of January and payable because he or she was alive all through January. However, the SSA benefit received by this person in March is for the month of February. It must be returned because he or she was not alive for the complete month of February.

In contrast, Social Security survivors benefits are payable for the month of death. Continuing the example of the person dying in February, anyone eligible for survivors monthly benefits on the record of the deceased, such as a widow, widower or children, would receive benefits for all of February, the month of death, again even if the death occurred on the last day of the month.

Prevent the possible loss of benefits by always contacting Social Security when there is a death in the family. You can call the Social Security national toll-free number, 800-772-1213, (7:00am-7:00pm local time), TTY 800-325-0778, same national hours, or your local office. Local hours vary, especially for small offices, but are usually 9:00am-3:30pm.
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To be honest I don't know if SS pays a month out or a month behind. My father passed on the 24th and SS took back his last check saying he had to make it the full month. Because of that I always assumed the SS payment was a month behind. If that were true and you sister passed towards the beginning of the month she would keep a check posted on the 3rd. I honestly don't know any more. You'd be best off putting up with the horrific hold time and give SS a phone call.
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The bank will freeze her account as soon as they see the death certificate posted. They keep up on those things.
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The check won't need to be returned, the SSA will snatch it out of her account almost immediately.
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