A) According to the Social Security Administration – How you sign up for survivors benefits depends on whether or not you are getting other Social Security benefits at the time you apply.
If you are getting benefits on your spouse’s or parent’s record when he or she dies, you should report the death to us. Call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can also call or visit your local Social Security office.
We’ll automatically change any monthly benefits to survivor benefits after the death is reported to us.
We may be able to pay the Special Lump Sum Death Benefit automatically.
If you are getting retirement or disability benefits on your own record, you will need to apply for the survivor benefits. Call our toll-free number, 1-800-772-1213 (TTY 1-800-325-0778). You can also call or visit your local Social Security office. We will check to see whether you can get a higher benefit as a widow or widower.
If you are not getting benefits, you should apply for survivor benefits promptly because, in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive. You can:
Call our toll-free telephone number 1-800-772-1213. If you are deaf or hard of hearing, you can call us at TTY 1-800-325-0778.
Call or visit your local Social Security office.
More information http://www.socialsecurity.gov/survivorplan/howtoapply.htm#ht=0