TN 16 (09-11)
GN 00304.015 Secondary Evidence of Death
A. Policy for secondary evidence of death
Use secondary evidence only if preferred evidence in GN 00304.005 and kinds of evidence of presumptive findings of death in GN 00304.010 is not available, and the claimant satisfactorily explains the reason the evidence is not available.
B. Procedure for documenting secondary evidence of death
1. Signed statements
Obtain signed statements of people (preferably not related to the claimant) who have personal knowledge of the death (i.e., those who saw the body).
Include in the statement:
relationship to the deceased, if any;
basis for the identification of the deceased;
occupation, age, sex, and race of the deceased;
date and place of death;
date and place of the viewing of the body;
cause of death, if known;
whether anyone else saw the body; and
why a public record of death, or statement of attending physician is not obtainable.
2. Other evidence
Whenever statements are not obtainable, or doubt still remains about the cause of death, ask the claimant to submit any other evidence of probative value.
3. Disaster procedures
If SSA invokes disaster procedures, follow instructions in GN 00410.010.