When someone dies, Social Security payments need to be stopped. Usually, the funeral home will take care of notifying the Social Security Administration (SSA), so check with your funeral director to make sure that is done. If for some reason you need to do it yourself, the Social Security Administration provides instructions here. It needs to be done right away because Social Security has rules as to when benefits need to be paid back, and it can sometimes cause an issue if benefits continue to be paid after death. Social Security benefits are paid a month behind, and a beneficiary needs to survive the entire month to be eligible to keep the payment for that month. Here is a good explanation from AARP. The SSA provides this link that details the next steps for the survivors – remember that there is a small death benefit to eligible recipients and it is always worth checking to see if your benefits can be increased.