TN 18 (11-08)
GN 02408.700 Erroneous Death Termination Involving EFT Payments
An erroneous death termination is caused by:
an incorrect report,
a death match with another agency that has received an incorrect report,
an erroneous return by the financial institution (FI) with a reason code of death, or
an input error at SSA.
Once the erroneous death is on one of SSA's systems, it is propagated to other SSA and Medicare/Medicaid systems.
Incorrect returns frequently come from financial institutions (FIs) as a result of a report received from SSA or another source by the FI. For example, when SSA sends a Death Notification entry (DNE), the FI “flags” the customer's account to return any future payments for this customer. Sometimes future payments received for joint account holders, including a spouse, are returned erroneously with a reason of death.
A Title II EFT payment that the FI returns for death does not automatically result in death termination. Instead, the beneficiary's/recipient's benefits are suspended while the responsible component develops to determine whether the report of death is accurate. However, it is still possible to encounter a case in which the beneficiary/recipient has been erroneously terminated for death by other means.
For information about DNEs, see GN 02408.605.
B. Process when SSA receives information that a terminated claimant is alive
When SSA receives a report that a beneficiary/recipient terminated for death is still alive, the field office or processing center (FO/PC) takes immediate steps to determine whether the report is true and restores payments if the beneficiary/recipient is determined to be alive.
The FO/PC follows the references in GN 02408.700C. to do the following:
Investigate to determine whether the beneficiary is alive.
If so, determine how the erroneous death termination occurred.
When dire need is alleged, repay any reclaimed payments through an Immediate Payment at the FO, a critical payment system (CPS) payment (Title II), a One-Time Payment (OTP) (Title XVI), or a Special Voucher payment at the Division of Benefit Certification and Accounting (Title XVI).
Correct all SSA records, including Title II, Title XVI, NUMIDENT, and HI master file. See Erroneous Death Terminations GN 02602.055.
Contact the FI to remove the death indicator from the account so additional payments will not be returned.
Send form “Abandon Reclamation Request– EFT” (SSA-1714) for any payments for which an automated or manual reclamation has been sent. (For the SSA-1714, see GN 02408.800D.)
GN 02408.800 — Abandon Reclamation – EFT
GN 02602.055 — Erroneous Death Terminations
SM 00810.200 — Restoring a Terminated Beneficiary to Entitled Status
SM 00875.270 — Resumption of Student Benefits and Marriage Termination
TC 14001.040 — Erroneous Death Termination
SM 01315.140 — How to Abandon Reclamation - Field Office
GN 02602.055 — If an Individual Deceased on SSA Records is Alive
SM 00706.085 — Correction of Date of Death on Health Insurance Records -- General
MSOM ADMIN 002.007 — Date of Death Correction -- HI Master File
GN 02602.054 — Erroneous Suspensions – Unverified Returned Payments for Death — Title II
TC 14001.070 — Title II Returned Payments Indicating Death