TN 49 (08-08)

DI 11010.330 Developing Cause of Death on a Pending Disability Claim

A. Background

Notify the Disability Determination Services (DDS), Disability Processing Branch (DPB) or Office of Disability Operations (OCO/ODO) when a claimant dies before the claim has a final determination. For claims entered into Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS), see Alerts, Flags, and Messages in the Electronic Disability Collect System (EDCS) - DI 81010.080.

If a claimant dies after the waiting period ends (no waiting period is involved in childhood disability claims or in certain subsequent claims), determine the relationship between the impairment and the cause of death since this information may be helpful to the DDS, DPB or ODO.

B. Procedure - pending claim in the field office (FO)

If a claimant dies while the claim is still pending in the FO, determine the precise cause of death as follows:

  1. Obtain a copy of the death certificate, or certify the cause of death from the death certificate using a Certification of Contents of SSA-704 (Documents or Records); or

  2. Determine the cause of death from the local registrar, attending physician, coroner, hospital records, or the Office of Vital Statistics. Obtain the evidence, in addition to the usual development, before sending the file to the DDS or DPB ODO for a medical determination. For claims entered into EDCS, barcode and fax the Death Certificate to Section F (back yellow) of the electronic folder. See Faxing Documents into the Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) Using Barcodes - DI 81010.090 for barcode and fax instructions.

C. Procedure - pending claim in DDS or ODO

When the FO learns of the claimant's death while the disability claim is in the DDS or DPB or ODO, for claims entered into EDCS, barcode and fax the Death Certificate to Section F (back yellow) of the electronic folder. See Faxing Documents into the Certified Electronic Folder (CEF) Using Barcodes - DI 81010.090 for barcode and fax instructions. When the official folder is paper, forward a copy of the death certificate or a SSA-704 (Certification of Contents of Documents or Records (09-05)) to the appropriate office for association and necessary action.

Do not make any other efforts to obtain information unless requested by the DDS, DPB or ODO. This avoids duplicate or unnecessary development. (See Jurisdiction and Routing of Cases after Return from Disability Determination Services (DDS) or Disability Quality Branch (DQB) - DI 11010.355 for routing instructions.)


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0411010330
DI 11010.330 - Developing Cause of Death on a Pending Disability Claim - 08/08/2008