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3 Things You Should Know About Social Security's Death Benefit

Millions of retirees rely on Social Security for their income. But after someone dies, Social Security also provides death benefits. Many people don't know much about this death benefit and how it plays into the overall benefits that Social Security offers.

In the following video, Dan Caplinger, The Motley Fool's director of investment planning, goes through Social Security's death benefit. It's important to distinguish the death benefit from survivors' benefits, which can be far more extensive and have a bigger impact on a spouse or child's financial situation for years to come. By contrast, the tiny one-time death benefit is almost an afterthought, but Dan digs into the history to point out that it used to be the sole benefit that Social Security paid out after someone died. Dan closes with a look at what you have to do to collect a death benefit and what the deadlines are for filing.

Learn more about making the most of Social Security
Taking advantage of little-known opportunities like Social Security's death benefit is essential if you want to maximize how much you receive from the government program. In our brand-new free report, "Make Social Security Work Harder For You," our retirement experts give their insight on making the key decisions that will help ensure a more comfortable retirement for you and your family. Click here to get your copy today.


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Dan Caplinger
TMFGalagan

Dan Caplinger has been a contract writer for the Motley Fool since 2006. As the Fool's Director of Investment Planning, Dan oversees much of the personal-finance and investment-planning content published daily on Fool.com. With a background as an estate-planning attorney and independent financial consultant, Dan's articles are based on more than 20 years of experience from all angles of the financial world.

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