The field office (FO) determines the precise cause of death from the death certificate
or from any official source, e.g., the local registrar or Office of Vital Statistics,
before forwarding the case to the disability determination services (DDS). The FO
obtains proof of death prior to sending the case to the DDS, and includes this information
in the file. The FO is also responsible for obtaining signed SSA-827s from the deceased
claimant’s administrator, or other person with authority to act on behalf of the deceased
individual or of the individual's estate.
NOTE: If, under applicable law, an executor, administrator, or other person has authority
to act on behalf of a deceased individual or of the individual's estate (e.g., proper
applicant), a description of the representative authority to act for the individual
must be provided on the authorization form.