When a civilian dies in the U.S. or a civilian dies outside the U.S. and the body
is returned to the U.S., obtain evidence of death from a U.S. source (e.g., a certified
copy of the public record of death). Obtain one of these proofs:
A copy of, or a statement as to, the contents of the public record of death certified
by the custodian or the field office (FO) employee;
A statement of death on an Statement of SSA-795 Claimant or Other Person executed by the attending physician, superintendent, physician,
or intern of the institution where death occurred or was confirmed; The statement
I am an authorized practitioner of medicine in the State of and attended (Name of
deceased) who died (Date).”
A certified copy of the coroner's report of death or verdict of the coroner's jury
of the State or community where death occurred; or
An SSA-721 or other statement executed by the funeral director or authorized representative
as indicated on the form.
NOTE: Funeral directors in states that register deaths via the Electronic Death Registration
(EDR) are discouraged from sending the SSA-721 to the FOs because we should already
have EDR records which are verified proofs of death. EDR allows us to receive a proof
of death report from the State SSA-721within 24 hours of the State’s receipt in its repository and within five (5) days
of death. Funeral directors using EDR, however, are encouraged to continue to provide
members of the public with the “fact sheet” portion of the SSA-721, which provides important information about who is eligible for benefits and how
to apply for them. For instructions on using the Numident death data as preferred
proof of death, see the instructions in GN 00304.100B.3.a.
IMPORTANT: Do not use an SSA-721 to establish death when a funeral director is filing on his or her spouse's record.