How do I report a Medicare beneficiary's death?

How do I report a Medicare beneficiary's death?

Contacting Social Security

Following the death of Medicare beneficiary, a family member or person acting on behalf of the beneficiary needs to report the death to the Social Security Administration (SSA) in one of two ways.

  • First, the funeral home often reports the death to SSA. In this case, the responsible person will need to provide the deceased person's social security number to the funeral director.
  • A second option is to call Social Security directly. Social Security can be called toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778) between 7 AM and 7 PM, Monday through Friday.

Stopping Benefits

A deceased person's benefits stop the month the phone call is made to Social Security reporting the death. Any refunds received that month need to be returned to Social Security. If benefits were being paid by check, the checks should be returned to Social Security immediately. If benefits were being paid by direct deposit, the bank or other financial institution needs to be notified of the death.

Receiving Spousal Benefit

A single payment of $255 is payable to a family member under one of the following conditions:

  • The surviving spouse will receive the payment if he or she was living with the beneficiary at the time of death.  
  • The surviving spouse will receive the payment if he or she was living in a separate location from the beneficiary but was receiving benefits from the beneficiary. 
  • If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who was eligible for benefits from the beneficiary's earnings during the month of death.


For further questions, contact Social Security, toll-free at 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778).

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How do I report a Medicare beneficiary's death?