TN 61 (03-05)
GN 00204.005 Claimant Dies Before Filing/Effectuation
A. Policy - claimant dies before filing an application
1. Protective filing established
If a claimant dies before filing an application but after we receive a protective filing, someone eligible to receive the deceased claimant’s underpayment may file the application. The period in which an application can be filed is determined by the protective filing closeout period in GN 00204.012.
NOTE: A protective filing may be a written statement of intent to file (including a written statement prepared by a Social Security Administration employee such as a completed SSA-2514 (Record of Claimant's Intent to File) (or its electronic equivalent), or 800 Number Worksheet or an oral inquiry about Supplemental Security Income (SSI). See GN 00204.010 for protective filing policy and SI 00601.015 through SI 00601.025 for SSI protective filings.
2. Protective filing not established
A valid application for Disability Insurance Benefits (DIB) may be filed within 3 months after the month in which the disabled individual died by someone eligible to receive the deceased claimant’s underpayment. This time period also applies to applications for disability freeze. See DI 26001.005 for the policy on disability freeze. This provision of the law does not extend to Disabled Widow’s Benefits (DWB) or Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) or provide for a “good cause” provision for late filing.
See GN 02301.030 for who may receive a title II underpayment and SI 02101.003 for who may receive a SSI underpayment. If there is a title II underpayment and the lump sum death payment (LSDP) has not been paid, see RS 00210.001 and RS 00210.010 for instructions on issuing the LSDP.
B. Policy - claimant dies after filing but before effectuation
If the claimant dies after filing but before effectuation of the application, follow the procedures in GN 00204.005F.
C. Procedure - closing out the title ii/title xvi protective filing
1. Someone is eligible to receive the underpayment
If someone is eligible to receive the underpayment, follow the procedures in GN 00204.012 for closing out the title II protective filing and SI 00601.037 for closing out the title XVI protective filing. Also see SI 00601.040C for the SSI notice requirements.
2. Cannot locate the individual eligible to receive the underpayment
If you cannot locate the individual eligible to receive the underpayment, document the file with the attempts made to locate the individual, and send the closeout notice, addressed to the individual eligible to receive the underpayment, to the deceased claimant’s last known address.
3. No underpayment exists or no one is eligible to receive the underpayment
If no underpayment exists, e.g., the claimant dies in the first month of entitlement/eligibility, take no further action to close out the protective filing.
D. Procedure - NH appears qualified for DIB
If it appears the claimant would have qualified for DIB during the 12 months before death, or the protective filing date or that a freeze could be established and the time limitation in GN 00204.005A has not expired:
Obtain an application for DIB from the individual eligible to receive the underpayment. Also request medical evidence, if available, and proof of death (DI 11010.330).
Send the application to the Disability Determinations Service (DDS) for a disability determination.
If the DDS determines that the claimant was disabled, prepare a manual award and forward it to the program service center to process the underpayment. See GN 01010.220 for processing manual awards.
NOTE: If it appears the deceased claimant would have been entitled to both title II Retirement Insurance Benefits (RIB) and DIB, see RS 00615.110.
E. Procedure - claimant not qualified for DIB
If the time limitation in GN 00204.005A. has elapsed and the applicant insists on filing or disability insured status is not met, disallow the application using the appropriate disallowance code.
F. Procedure - death after filing an application but before effectuation
If the claimant filed an application but died before we could effectuate it, process the application as follows:
1. Title II
a. No entitlement
Send an abatement notice to the applicant if other than the claimant. If the claimant filed on his/her own behalf, then no notice is necessary. See GN 01010.475 for abatement instructions.
b. Entitlement - benefits payable
Determine the person(s) entitled to receive the underpayment, and process the award. If no one is eligible to receive the underpayment, document the file to that effect. See GN 01061.020 for instructions on how to dispose of underpayments.
c. Entitlement - no benefits payable
Effectuate the application and send a “no payment” award notice to the executor of the estate at the deceased’s last known address.
2. Title XVI
Follow the procedures in SI 00601.010E.
Title II protective filing, GN 00204.010
Title XVI protective filing, SI 00601.015 through SI 00601.020
Title XVI oral inquiries, SI 00601.025
State requests for title XVI disability determination, SI 01730.015
Notice requirements, NL 00601.010
Underpaid person is deceased, GN 02301.030