Government Resources

 

Social Security

Social Security Administration
50 Prospect Street, Second Floor
Waltham, MA 02453
800-772-1213
www.ssa.gov

Eligibility
The deceased worker must have credit for work covered by Social Security, ranging from 1 1/2 to 10 years depending on his or her age at death.

Who may receive monthly benefits?

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled), or at any age if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
  • A divorced widow or widower age 60 or older (50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years, or if caring for an entitled child who is under 16 or disabled.
  • Unmarried children up to 18 (19 if they are attending a primary or secondary school full time).
  • Children who were disabled before reaching 22, as long as they remained disabled.
  • Dependent parent or parents 62 or older.

Lump-sum death payment
A one-time payment of $255 is paid in addition to the monthly cash benefits described above. The lump-sum death payment (LSDP) is paid in the following priority order:

  • A surviving spouse who lived in the same household as the deceased person at the time of death.
  • A surviving spouse eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death.
  • A child or children eligible for or entitled to benefits for the month of death.

Applying for benefits
You must apply in order to receive benefits. You may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone.

Social security teleservice – doing business by telephone
You may call Social Security toll-free, 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. The number to use is 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, call between the hours of 7:00am and 7:00pm on regular business days. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.

 

Veteran Benefits

Veterans Administration
JFK Federal Building, Government Center
Boston, MA 02114
800-827-1000
www.cem.va.gov

Benefits
Benefits are available to veterans discharged or separated from active duty under conditions (other than dishonorable) who have completed the required period of service, or U.S. Armed Forces members who die during active duty. Spouses and dependent children of eligible living and deceased veterans, and of current and deceased armed forces members, may also be eligible.

Burial Grave in a National Cemetery
The United States Government provides a free burial in a National Cemetery to all those who are eligible. This includes the grave-site, opening and closing of the grave, and perpetual care. Many national cemeteries have columbaria niches for the inurnment of cremated remains or special sections for burial of cremated remains, if cremation is chosen as the final form of disposition.

Headstones and Markers
The United States Government provides headstones and markers for the graves of Veterans and eligible dependents anywhere in the world that are not already marked. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble and upright marble types are available to mark.

United States Burial Flag
The United States Government provides an American flag to drape the casket of a veteran who was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. After the funeral service, the flag may be given to the next of kin or a close associate of the deceased.

 

Town/City Contact Info

Town of Ayer
1 Main Street
Ayer, MA 01432
www.ayer.ma.us

City of Fitchburg
718 Main Street
Fitchburg, MA 01420
www.ci.fitchburg.ma.us

Town of Townsend
272 Main Street (Route 119)
Townsend, MA 01469
www.townsend.ma.us