What Are Death Benefits

death benefits

Death Benefits as a whole consist of a life insurance policy or government backed Benefit that is a legal contract between the insurance service provider or agency (the insurer) and the individual or person who has been insured (policyholder). The policy holders have to pay a certain premium to the insurance company during their life. The company provides to them the survivor monetary reimbursement if in case a claim is made in the event of the demise of the policyholder. Life insurance policies are popular across the world due to the death benefits, maturity benefits, and other benefits that they may offer.

A life insurance policy has the death benefits for the nominee or the beneficiary of a particular life insurance policy. The beneficiary is appointed by the policyholder only. A death benefit is a monetary sum and pay out that is given to the nominee or the beneficiary when the policy holder or the insured dies. There are no taxes levied on the death benefits. The main breadwinner of a family may get his or her life insured through a life insurance policy. The death benefit is awarded to the nominee in case the policy holder dies, which is important for the family of the demised policyholder to sustain itself. The death benefit can be provided in the form of a large lump sum amount or maybe also paid in the form of pension or annuity,

Social Security Death Benefits

The Social Security death benefits amount to $ 255. It is the total lump sum payment given on the death of the person to the survivor by the Government of the USA. The death benefit may go to the surviving spouse when:

  1. the widower or the window was living with the deceased person when the death occurred.
  2. the spouse was living separately but meets the eligibility conditions to get the survivor benefit
  3. the spouse was living separately but was collecting the benefits, as soon on the earning records of the spouse.

In case there is no spouse, the child will get the death benefit and the monetary sum. However, the Social Security death benefit cannot be applied online. The Toll-Free number for it is provided on the website of Social Security. The survivor can call the number and talk to the representative to start the process of claiming the death benefit.

Benefits for Military Spouses

The members of the military and the armed forces as well as the veterans have certain benefits that are meant exclusively for the personnel of the military. These benefits include housing, healthcare, life insurance, education, retirement, and job training benefits. Those in the military are also provided life insurance. The survivor and the spouse are entitled to receive the death benefit in case the demise of the policyholder occurs.

The spouse and the survivor of military personnel are paid a death gratuity immediately in the form of cash payment in case the demise of the service member occurs. These are the immediate cash payment that can be used by the family members to take care of their immediate financial needs. SGLI (Service Members Group Life Insurance) is a comprehensive life insurance policy that provides a lump sum payment to the spouse and the surviving family member of military personnel. There are also certain other benefits including the “Survivor Benefit Plan” as well as the “Veterans Affairs Dependency and Indemnity Compensation Plan”. The Department of Defense may also provide help in the form of assistance in areas like healthcare, housing, education, and other benefits and care to the survivors.

You can find more funeral benefits for vets in our Need to Know for a Burial in a Military Cemetery post.

Life insurance benefits

Life insurance policies are today being offered in the USA by private insurance providers. These insurance providers offer whole life or permanent insurance plans, as well as term plans. The premium paid towards these life insurance policies is free of taxation and is not included in the gross income for taxation purposes. Social Security death benefit may not be a large amount. Therefore, many people buy the private life insurance cover separately and these may include the term plans or the whole life plans. Life insurance policy ensures that the family of the dead can take care of itself and can meet its financial needs in case an eventuality and demise of the policyholder occur. Life insurance is often used to cover the cost of final arrangements. Find out the average cost in our in depth look at the cost of funerals vs. cremation.

Retirement benefits

Post-retirement many people start to witness a deterioration in health and may not be able to carry out their professional responsibilities. There is a retirement age as well in the public as well as private-sector jobs. Beyond this age, a person cannot assume his or her professional job responsibilities. However, the seniors do require funds to meet their expenses. These expenses may include the day-to-day and regular expenses, expenses incurred towards medical and health care, and other kinds of expenses.

The Social Security benefits also include a retirement plan. This retirement plan and social security benefit are available to almost all workers in America, along with their families. An American worker is required to give a certain percentage of his or her pre-retirement salary and income for the retirement fund. The workers may get around 40% of their pre-retirement earnings following the Social Security retirement benefits.

Disability Benefits

The Social Security program also includes Social Security Disability Insurance. American workers who meet a grave injury at the workplace may be disabled towards performing their jobs and responsibilities. Disability insurance and coverage provide the disability benefits in these conditions. Monthly benefits are provided to the workers when they claim a disability benefit.

Life Insurance can be an important asset that can bring relief to the family members and the survivors in case the main breadwinner of the family dies. Apart from Social Security, certain private institutions also offer certain retirement plans and life insurance policies that can be managed to avail even greater benefits post-retirement and in later ages. Those earning currently should see to it that they are saving enough money for their retirement, and are also wisely saving their families from any financial troubles by investing in affordable life insurance policies and plans. Fortunately, the USA has both public as well as a private system for offering life insurance as well as a retirement fund.

This post contains affiliate links. If you make a purchase through these links, we may receive compensation at no additional cost to you.


Readinform is a Wisconsin based writer for funerals explained. They have come to understand the struggles of death and loss. Through life experience they have gathered the knowledge to help others and answer questions related to the funeral industry. When not writing readyinform focuses on learning new things and exploring the differences society offers.

Recent Posts