TN 1 (11-02)
DI 12045.045 Death of Claimant – Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) Hearing Level
This section provides field office instructions for processing a request for hearing if a person dies while the hearing request is pending.
1. Documentation of Claims File
Contact the eligible party and prepare an HA-539 (Notice Regarding Substitution of Party Upon Death of Claimant).
Secure a statement (if possible) regarding the cause of death.
Obtain a copy of the death certificate.
Indicate in the remarks whether a survivor claim has been filed or is being developed.
If no survivor claim is being developed, show the name and address of the claimant, potential claimant, or nearest known relative.
NOTE: ODAR/ALJ may dismiss Title XVI hearing request unless there is a living spouse, parent eligible to receive an underpayment or the file contains an agreement with the state or local government for interim assistance payments.
2. Folder/Claim Routing
Route the HA-539, a statement regarding the cause of death, if there is one, and a copy of the death certificate to the appropriate hearing office. For processing Certified Electronic Cases (CEF) see DI 81010.090 Faxing Documents into the Certified Electronic Folder. Per the NOTE in DI 81010.095A Using the Update After Transfer (UAT) Utility, the FO will not initiate the UAT when adding forms or documents to the CEF. An automatic alert posts to the ODAR case processing system when adding a document to a CEF.
Route the survivor claim(s) to the processing center (PC).
3. No Survivor or Eligible Party
If no survivor or other eligible party is indicated, the ALJ will dismiss the hearing request and forward the claim to Office of Central Operations (OCO) or the jurisdictional PC.
Exhibit, Form HA-539, DI 12095.120