TN 17 (10-11)

GN 00304.080 Payment of Benefits if Homicide is an Issue

A. Policy for payment of benefits if homicide is an issue

Do not delay adjudication and payment (including the lump sum death payment (LSDP)) except at the request of the claimant, unless readily available information shows that the claimant has been found by a court of competent jurisdiction to killing the worker by an act, that precludes entitlement.

Reopen the claim at any time if benefits are paid and SSA later establishes that we should not have entitled the claimant.

Do not delay entitlement based on a grand jury indictment or any other official act by law enforcement agencies only charging the claimant in the homicide of the number holder (NH).

B. Procedure for payment of benefits if homicide is an issue

1. Payment options

  1. If claimant elects delayed payment

    • Follow the delayed claim procedure in GN 01010.140.

    • Obtain a signed statement from the claimant.

    • Inform the claimant of his or her responsibility to notify us if:

      • they are no longer under suspicion;

      • the court having jurisdiction reaches a decision about their involvement; or

      • He or she subsequently wishes to start benefits.

    • Prepare the appropriate listing and diary.

  2. If claimant elects payment

    • Obtain a signed statement from the claimant.

    • Prepare the appropriate listing and diary.

    • Verify any allegations regarding the homicide and insure that the claimant continues to meet requirements for entitlement in any case where we previously withheld benefits.

  3. Combined family maximum

    • Follow the delayed claim procedure on both earnings records and withhold payments at claimant requests.

    • Regardless of the claimant's decision concerning payment, contact any other beneficiaries whose benefit is affected, advise them of the situation (including possibility of overpayment) and of the option to have the increase withheld.

    • Obtain signed statements documenting the claimant and beneficiary decisions.

2. LSDP

If there is a delay in payment, follow the listing and diary instructions in GN 00304.075B.5. and GN 00304.075B.6.

LSDP not payable to a person who killed NH:

  • Reopen any other LSDP claim that was either only partially paid or disallowed based on the entitlement of the claimant convicted of intentionally killing the NH.

  • Advise any claimant identified in the file with potential eligibility to file a claim (If needed, find good cause if the reason for not filing was because the claimant states he or she intentionally killed the NH ).

  • Document the file that there are no other potential claimants. NOTE: You do not need to continue investigating the claimant’s location.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200304080
GN 00304.080 - Payment of Benefits if Homicide is an Issue - 11/17/2011
Batch run: 11/17/2011
Rev:11/17/2011