TN 18 (11-08)

GN 02408.605 Death Notification Entry (DNE)

A. Background

The date of receipt of a DNE is proof that the financial institution (FI) learned of the beneficiary’s/recipient’s death no later than that date.

IMPORTANT: The DNE is also used by an FI to determine the date SSA learned of the death, because a DNE normally goes out as soon as SSA receives the information. The date of the DNE is also the starting point for the 120-day period during which SSA sends a reclamation request through Treasury to the FI.

B. DNE information

The DNE is an electronic notice of the death of a beneficiary/recipient that SSA sends through the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank (RFRB) to the FI to which the beneficiary’s/recipient’s benefits are paid by direct deposit. The DNE contains information about the beneficiary’s/recipient’s payment data and date of death.

1. Data in DNE

The data in a DNE includes:

  • FI’s routing number (RTN),

  • Depositor account number (DAN),

  • All zeros in the payment amount field,

  • SSN (and BIC, if appropriate) under which the Social Security or SSI benefits are sent,

  • Name, and

  • An addenda record.

2. Addenda record

The addenda record contains the following:

  • Date of death,

  • Beneficiary’s/recipient’s own SSN (BOAN or BSSN), and

  • Amount of the next scheduled payment.

The information is formatted the same as a regular payment. It is sent electronically by the same method as a direct deposit payment, but it does not flow through the Department of Treasury (Treasury).

C. Process when DNE is sent to the FI

On the day after a death termination is displayed on a Title II or Title XVI record, SSA passes a DNE to the Richmond Federal Reserve Bank (RFRB) if the record was in current payment status before the death termination was applied to the record.

RFRB then passes the information through the Automated Clearing House (ACH) to the U.S. FI to which the beneficiary/recipient had direct deposit of benefits.

D. Process when the FI responds to DNE

DT recommends that the FI “flag” the account of its deceased customer to prevent posting any more incorrect payments from SSA or other government agencies. The FI returns, within three days, any additional government benefit payments that arrive for this beneficiary/recipient. For any payments that have already been posted, the FI has the option of waiting for a reclamation before returning the funds to the agency.

E. Erroneous DNE

When a beneficiary’s death is posted erroneously, contact the FI's Automated Clearing House (ACH) department to request they remove the death “flag” from the beneficiary’s account. When necessary, fax a statement on SSA letterhead to the FI stating the death was input erroneously and payments are resuming to the account because the beneficiary is alive and entitled. If the death flag is not removed, the bank rejects and returns future deposits with a reason code of "death" which posts the death to SSA's records.

F. References

  • GN 02408.002 - Glossary of Stop-Payment and Reclamation Terms - Checks and EFT

  • GN 02408.610 - Reclamation of Title II and Title XVI EFT Payments – Overview,

  • GN 02408.900 - Recovery of Title II IDD Payments Improperly Issued After Death of Beneficiary

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
GN 02408.605 - Death Notification Entry (DNE) - 11/03/2008
Batch run: 01/23/2024