Avoid making any statements that imply an FI has erred in returning a payment that
arrived after the FI learned of the beneficiary’s death. This applies even when the
beneficiary died after the end of the month for which the payment was made, but on
or before the payment date. This includes payments from all four cycles.
For any post-death payments posted to the account before the FI learns of the death,
the FI has the choice of either,
returning any payments that have already been posted to the account after the date
of death, but before the FI learned of the death, or
waiting for a reclamation.
Payments deposited before the beneficiary’s death and then returned by the bank after the beneficiary’s death,
are an asset to the estate and not underpayments. When this situation occurs, follow
these instructions: Small Estates GN 02315.001, State Jurisdiction-Small Estates, GN 02315.005, and Foreign Jurisdiction-Small Estates GN 02315.005.
Examples of underpayments and assets to the estates are in GN
The FI does not have the responsibility for making a decision as to whether the payment
is due or not due.
In discussing any payment that arrived at an FI after the death of a beneficiary who
met all requirements for the payment (and therefore was entitled to the payment),
SSA will explain that the FI follows Treasury’s instructions. However, we do not send a reclamation request for any payments that were actually due the beneficiary.
If the FI asks whether a reclamation will be sent for an EFT payment that we determine
was due the beneficiary, advise the FI that no reclamation request will be sent.
Take the following action:
advise callers who inquire about payments returned after death that the FI has acted
within the law;
assist survivors to apply for any applicable underpayment; and
decide who should receive an underpayment, based on the statutory order for paying
underpayments, listed in GN 02301.030.
Examples of due or not due payments are in this section at GN 02408.650G.