Before paying an underpayment, the adjudicating office must determine:
No living individual in a higher order of priority exists, and
Once the highest order or priority is determined, whether there are other living individuals
in that category.
An individual in the order of priority to receive an underpayment cannot waive their
right to the underpayment. We cannot pay a death underpayment to an individual in
a lower priority category when someone in a higher priority category exists, even
if that individual states that they do not want the underpayment.
If an eligible recipient dies before we complete payment, divide his or her share
among the other eligible members of the same category. When there are no other recipients
in the same category, issue the payment to the recipient(s) in the next lower order