TN 12 (08-11)

RS 00210.001 Field Office (FO) and Program Service Center (PSC) Requirements and Definitions of Lump-Sum Death Payment (LSDP)


Public Law 97-35 Section 2202(a) (i) (A)

Social Security Act, Section 202(i)

404.305 , 404.390 , 404.392 , 404.708 , 404.715 , 404.721 , and 404.760

Effective September 1, 1981 the provisions of P.L. 97-35 (enacted August 13, 1981) redefine who can receive the LSDP if a fully or currently insured number holder (NH) dies on or after September 1, 1981.

A. Policy for LSDP payment conditions

1. Insured status for the deceased

The deceased number holder (NH) must show fully or currently insured.

2. Timely filed application

Except as indicated in RS 00210.005A, the claimant must file an application within two years after the NH's death. Under certain conditions, we extend the time for filing. For exceptions to the two-year filing time limit, see RS 00210.005B.5.

B. Who can receive an LSDP?

Pay the LSDP in the following order of priority:

  1. the surviving spouse of the deceased who was living in the same household (LISH) with the deceased at the time of death;

  2. a person who is entitled to, or who was eligible for benefits as a

    • widow(er) (as defined in RS 00207.001) on the deceased’s earnings record for the month the NH died or

    • mother or father (as defined in RS 00208.001) on the deceased’s earnings record for the month the NH died.

  3. a child of the NH as defined in RS 00203.010, who is entitled to (or who was eligible for) benefits on the deceased’s earnings record for the month the NH died. For the definition of a child, see RS 00203.001C.

NOTE: An eligible person is one who would have been entitled to benefits on the deceased's record had a timely application been filed (as indicated in RS 00210.010A.1.). This does not include persons eligible, entitled to surviving divorced spouse, or divorced mother or father benefits.

If the claimant is filing for the LSDP only and does not wish to file for monthly benefits, it may be necessary to obtain a determination of disability to establish eligibility of the claimant. Refer to DI 11025.020 Disability Determination Needed to Establish Entitlement to Lump-Sum Death Payment.

C. Definition of a surviving spouse or widow(er) for LSDP

To meet the definition of a surviving spouse or widow(er) for LSDP benefits the survivor must have:

  • widow(er) status (based on a valid marriage) under the law of the State of the NH’s legal domicile at the time of the NH’s death;

  • the same rights as a widow(er) to share in the distribution of the NH’s intestate personal property under State law; or

  • status of widow(er) under the deemed marriage provisions of the Act. For an explanation of deemed marriage provisions, see GN 00305.055.

The survivor need not meet:

  • the requirement of being unmarried to become entitled to monthly benefits (see GN 00305.055) when applying for the LSDP based on a deemed marriage; or

  • the duration of relationship requirement if LISH. If not LISH, duration of marriage or one of the alternatives must be met (For Widow(er)’s Benefits Definitions and Requirements see RS 00207.001A.)

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