TN 23 (04-24)

RS 00210.005 Evidence Requirements for the Lump-Sum Death Payment (LSDP)

A. Policy for evidence required for LSDP

This table provides references for LSDP evidence requirements.

Evidence Requirements

When Needed


Age of number holder (NH)

If age affects insured status, see the other benefit categories for the age requirement when amount is affected.

GN 00302.005B

Age of claimant

Always needed, except if the applicant is living in the same household (LISH) spouse not filing for monthly benefits or is a spouse claiming LSDP as an eligible or entitled mother or father.

GN 00302.001

Death of NH

Always needed, except in most conversion cases.

GN 00304.005

RS 00210.005B.1.

Living in the Same Household (LISH)

Always needed for payment under the first priority category.

RS 00210.035

RS 00210.005B.3.

RS 00210.005B.4.


Always needed.

RS 00210.005B.2.

Representative Payee

If claimant is a minor or an adult incapable of managing funds.

GN 00502.020 through GN 00502.070.

Wages and SEI

Only if it affects insured status or other entitlement factor.


Form SSA-8 (Application for a Lump-Sum Death Payment)

Always needed, except if the claimant is entitled to spouse's benefits for the month before the month of NH's death or an eligible surviving spouse or child is filing an application for monthly benefits on the NH’s record

RS 00210.005B.5.

Military service of NH

Only needed if military service affects insured status or monthly benefit.


B. Field office (FO) and program service center (PSC) procedures to develop evidence for LSDP

1. Develop for proof of death

We require proof of death to establish LSDP eligibility.

  • If NH died in military service, see RS 01702.370.

  • A claimant in a spouse-to-widow(er) conversion may submit post-adjudicative evidence of death. For post-adjudicative development, see Widow(er)’s Benefits – Conversion of Benefits, RS 00207.005.

2. Develop for proof of relationship

We require proof of relationship to establish LSDP eligibility.

  • A claimant filing for the LSDP or widow(er) monthly benefits and the LSDP, based on eligibility to monthly benefits, for the month of the NH’s death must establish their relationship based on GN 00305.005 (widow(er)'s relationship).

  • A claimant filing for the LSDP or child monthly benefits and the LSDP, based on eligibility to monthly benefits, for the month of the NH’s death must establish their relationship based on GN 00306.001 (child's relationship).

  • If the claimant is only applying for the lump sum as a LISH surviving spouse, accept the ceremonial marriage (including Indian tribal marriages) statement of when and where the marriage took place.

  • When the claimant is concurrently filing for the LSDP and widow(er)’s benefits, before processing the claim for widow(er) monthly benefits, follow normal procedures to determine the relationship based on marital status requirements listed in GN 00305.005; and

    develop additional evidence for a LISH surviving spouse if a deemed, common-law, or any other marital relationship described in GN 00305.085 is involved or if there is reasonable doubt about the marital relationship. If there is any question about termination of a previous marriage, see GN 00305.140.

3. LISH and surviving spouse entitled to benefits

a. LISH development

Establish LISH for the month of the NH's death. Assume LISH if the check addresses were the same for the spouse and the deceased, unless one spouse was the representative payee for the other.

b. Possible LISH spouse

No development is necessary to find a possible LISH spouse if we are converting a legal spouse receiving auxiliary benefits on the NH's record to widow(er)'s benefits. Pay the LSDP to the entitled widow(er). If two spouses (e.g., a deemed and legal spouse) are entitled for the month of death, pay the LSDP to the LISH spouse.

4. LISH and surviving spouse not entitled to benefits

a. Only one alleged surviving spouse exists

Develop whether the claimant qualifies as a LISH surviving spouse or an eligible or entitled widow(er), mother, or father. Once we establish that the claimant meets LISH, eligibility or entitlement, we may pay the claimant the LSDP.

b. More than one alleged surviving spouse exists

  • Develop marital status (see GN 00305.005 for development guidelines).

  • If more than one spouse (as defined for Social Security purposes, e.g. a legal and a deemed spouse), exists, determine which claimant was actually LISH and pay that claimant the LSDP.

  • If neither claimant was LISH but one is or was eligible for benefits on the NH's earnings record for the month of death, pay that claimant the LSDP.

NOTE: It is possible to have two surviving spouses (e.g., a legal spouse and a putative spouse) who are both eligible for the LSDP, though neither was LISH.

5. LSDP Application

a. General application procedures

  • If we require an application and no monthly benefits are payable, establish the Lump Sum in the Modernized Claims System (MCS) or use SSA-8-F4, Application for a Lump-Sum Death Payment. NOTE: When the claimant is filing for the LSDP only and does not have an SSN, see coding instructions in MS 03505.009 (9-C).

    An application for monthly benefits is also an application for the LSDP. A widow(er) or child who has filed an application for monthly benefits need not file an SSA-8-F4 for the LSDP.

  • If we require an application, the claimant must file it, (with certain exceptions), no later than the second anniversary of the NH's death. If the last day for filing is Saturday, Sunday, a legal holiday or other Federal non-work day, file the application on the next full workday.

The following table contains situations requiring exceptions to the 2-year filing period for applications.

Exceptions to the 2-year period for filing an application



“Good cause” exists for claimant's failure to file within initial period.

See RS 00210.030

The deceased NH or the claimant was in the armed forces and the Soldiers and Sailors Civil Relief Act applies.

See RS 00210.025

b. Application by widow(er)

If a NH dies who was also entitled to spouse's benefits on the record of the lump-sum applicant, take an abbreviated Lump-Sum claim on MCS. If unable to establish the claim on MCS, elicit responses to only the following items on the SSA-8 (Application for Lump-Sum Death Payment) (items 1-5 and item 11):

  • name of deceased,

  • SSN of deceased,

  • name of applicant,

  • date and place of death, and

  • SSNs (and corresponding names of number holders) on which deceased was entitled to benefits

Additionally, complete the signature block and any other information that may, in unusual situations, affect entitlement or eligibility.

NOTE: This application process does not apply to cases that automatically convert to survivor benefits. For information on Widow(er)’s Benefits-Conversion of Benefits-Policy, see RS 00207.005. For information on Spouse’s to Mothers/Father’s Benefits, LS Award, and Change of Payee for Children, see RS 00208.090.

c. Application by child

Establish a claim for the LSDP in MCS. If unable to establish a claim in MCS, file a Form SSA-8 (Application for Lump-Sum Death Payment) if the claimant is a child who is not currently filing a claim for monthly benefits. This application process applies even if the child was receiving child’s benefits while the NH was alive.

Each child must apply to receive a share of the payment. When there is more than one child applying for payment, use one application. The form must contain Form SSA-8 for more than one child. The proper applicant must sign the form and include either

  • a signature by a proper applicant and an explanatory statement in the remarks listing the names of the children involved; or

  • the claimants’ names in item 2.

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RS 00210.005 - Evidence Requirements for the Lump-Sum Death Payment (LSDP) - 04/22/2024
Batch run: 04/22/2024