One place I knew I needed to contact was Social Security. They were frustrating to deal with until I actually spoke with a human at the end.
I called the office on January 2nd and was told that it was going to be a 45 minute wait. I then tried calling a local number the next day but was told it was disconnected.
We had a snow day on January 11th and so I went to the actual office in my town and made an appointment for them to review my case. I brought the death certificate with me knowing that they have been notified by the funeral home. What I didn't realize was that I also needed my marriage certificate and birth certificates for all 5 of us. My father-in-law was able to drop those off for me the next day knowing Steve's social security number to be able to link it to our case.
They told me my appointment would be at 11: 30 on the 26th...of February! and the other thing I found weird was that it was going to be a phone conversation not in person at the office.
So I waited a month and a half and then in February talked to someone who told me that at this time I make too much money to be able to collect Social Security for myself. he told me I should check back with Social Security in the year 2020 to see if at that point I would be eligible. I did get a one time payment of $225.
All three of my boys were eligible to receive a monthly payment. They each receive the same amount up until my oldest turns 18 in a few months. They would back pay January and February and include that in the March check. Once my oldest turns 18 the other two will get a larger amount until they are 18.
The money is sent at the end of the month directly into my checking account.
When the first check arrived there was a bunch of paperwork that also came in the mail explaining that everything that the money is spent on needs to be documented. There is a list of acceptable things that the money can be spent on. I started a log in my budgeting notebook for what the boys were spending money on.
I also created a savings account at my local bank for each of the boys to put this money into if it's not money I need for our household budget.