Department of Health and Human Services

Abolish the lump sum death payment

My idea is to get rid of Social Security's lump sum death payment. Part of the original purpose of the lump sum death payment was to increase incentives for reporting the death of a relative. However, with better reporting (through banks among other sources), it doesn't contribute much towards that purpose.


The CBO estimates that the lump sum death payment outlays will be $200,000,000 a year. This does not include administrative costs. Administering the payment requires development for surviving relatives, taking applications and in some cases, manually processing claims.



Idea No. 4