TN 14 (08-04)

GN 00304.100 Use of Numident Death Data

A. Policy

Death data shown on the Numident can be used as preferred proof of death for initial claims processing when

  • The data was established on the Numident by preferred proof of death, i.e., a death certificate, Form SSA-704 (Certification of Contents of Documents or Records) in lieu of a death certificate, or Form SSA-721 (Statement of Death By Funeral Director); (see GN 02602.050A.); OR

  • The data was established on the Numident based on an Electronic Death Registration (EDR) Report.

REFERENCE: See the instructions in GN 00304.100B.3. for Numident coding that indicates that the Numident can be used as preferred proof of death.

NOTE: This policy does not change the procedure for handling the SSA-721 as a lead (see GN 00202.020F).   

B. Procedure

1. Erroneous death information on Numident

  1. Resolve potentially inaccurate death data discovered on the Numident (e.g., in connection with enumeration, claims development, pension fund verification) as follows:

    • For erroneous death terminations, (claims and non-claims), follow instructions in GN 02602.055 (for title II benefits) and GN 02602.055 (for title XVI benefits).

    • If the fact of death is being questioned and the source of the death information was the State Death Match program, i.e. the Source of Death (SSD) field on the Numident shows a code 01-65, obtain a copy of the death certificate to resolve the issue as outlined in GN 02602.070C and GN 02602.056C.  

    • If the fact of death is being questioned and the source of the death information was a verified EDR report (as described in GN 00304.100B.3.) or other than a State Death Match program (the SSD field on the Numident shows a code other than 01-65), establish the identity of the individual to resolve the issue as outlined in GN 02602.070C.

      IMPORTANT: Conduct a face-to-face interview, except in the situations described in GN 02602.055. See the instructions in RM 10210.405 through RM 10210.430 for acceptable evidence of identity.

    • If only the date of death is being questioned, but the difference is material, and the source is other than the State Death Match Program, request evidence to support the change. (See GN 00304.005 through GN 00304.015 for information on acceptable evidence.)

      NOTE: A material difference is one that will affect either entitlement dates or payment amounts.

  2. Document erroneous death information cases as follows:

    • In claims and non-claims situations, complete the Evidence (EVID) screen as instructed in GN 02602.055 if an administrative error is involved or an erroneous report of death is involved.

    • Document changes to the Numident with a Form SSA-704, Form SSA-721 or a death certificate.

  3. Once the issues have been resolved and documented following instructions in the previous sections, make necessary corrections or deletions as follows:

    • Correct the Numident file using the Death Information Processing System (DIPS), and

    • Make any necessary corrections to payment records following instructions in GN 02602.070C and SI 02301.315 if there is an incorrect date of death on the payment records.

      IMPORTANT: Correcting the payment record will not automatically correct the Numident. You must take both actions.

  4. If the NH states that erroneous death information from the Numident was used by a private agency (such as a mortgage company or a credit agency), the FO will take the following steps in addition to those shown in GN 00304.100B.1.a. through GN 00304.100B.1.c.

    • Check the Numident for a death record to determine if the SSA record is correct or incorrect. If incorrect and the person is alive, delete the information from the Numident by using DIPS .

    • Send a notice signed by the FO manager to the NH that we have corrected the Numident (see Exhibit 1A. in GN 00304.115) or that our records are correct (see Exhibit 1B. in GN 00304.115), and

    • Advise the NH that if he or she makes a written request; i.e., signs the “tear-off” on Exhibit 1A. or 1B. in GN 00304.115, we will notify the agency (Exhibits 2A. and 2B. in GN 00304.115) which used erroneous information so they can correct their records.

    • Notify the agency that used the erroneous data when the tearoff is received.

2. Death data on the Numident as a lead

If death data shown on the Numident cannot be used as preferred proof of death for initial claims as indicated in GN 00304.100A, use the following guidelines for claims development where the claimant is not aware that the NH may be deceased or needs guidance on where to look.

  1. If the source of the fact of death was other than the State Death Match program (the SSD field on the Numident shows a code other than 01-65):

    • Tell the claimant we have a report of death.

    • Tell the claimant the date and source of the death data.

    • Advise the claimant that the source of the death data is not 100% reliable and therefore cannot be used as evidence of death.

    • Suggest the claimant start the search for evidence of death by contacting the reporting agency.

  2. If the source of data is the State Death Match program (the SSD field on the Numident shows a code 01-65), obtain a copy of the death certificate from the State. Until you have verification of death from a source other than the State Death Match Program, DO NOT DISCLOSE ANY INFORMATION TO THE CLAIMANT REGARDING NH'S DEATH. DO NOT DISCLOSE TO THE CLAIMANT THAT SSA HAS A REPORT OF DEATH. See instructions in GN 03315.010A.2. for policy with regard to disclosure of the fact of death when the only source of that information is the State Death Match program.

3. Death data on the Numident as preferred proof of death

Use the information on the Death Data Numident as preferred proof of death when the requirements in GN 00304.100A. are met.

  1. The date of death on the Numident has been verified based on an EDR report when the:

    • Source of Death (SSD) code equals “01” - “65,” and

    • Proof of Death (POD) field code equals "P," and

    • EDR field code equals "Y,” and 

    • Comments field states: "EDR Death Report."  

  2. The data of death on the Numident is based on preferred proof of death when the:

    • Proof of Death (POD) field code equals “P,” and

    • Source of Death (SSD) equals “70,” “72,” or “FO.”

See RM 10235.025 for an exhibit of the Death Data Numident Query Response. Resolve any potentially erroneous death data on the Numident per instructions in GN 00304.100B.1.

C. References

  • Notice language to send to the NH and Agency, GN 00304.115

  • Action When Earnings After Death Development is Complete, RM 03870.090

  • Parts of the Death Data Numident Query Response, RM 10235.025

  • Processing Reports of Death, GN 02602.050

  • For instructions about how to correctly process cases where the deceased wage earner has a Prisoner Update Processing System (PUPS) alert and there are survivors already on the deceased's wage earner's record, or claimants are requesting survivor benefits on the SSN of a deceased wage earner's record and he/she has a PUPS record, see Recognizing that a PUPS Record Exists for a Claimant from the MBR" (GN 02607.500D).


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200304100
GN 00304.100 - Use of Numident Death Data - 08/05/2016
Batch run: 08/05/2016
Rev:08/05/2016