TN 3 (02-09)

HI 01120.010 Life Changing Event (LCE) – Death of Spouse

A. Policy

B. What Evidence is Needed to Support the Change

C. How to Process the Request

A. Policy

The death of a spouse is an LCE that could result in a “significant” reduction in MAGI and a change in a tax filing status for a beneficiary. (See HI 01101.020C. for the tables used to determine the IRMAA thresholds.) It is possible for the effect on the MAGI to be delayed when the cause is death.

B. What Evidence is Needed to Support the Change

If the spouse of a beneficiary has died, SSA will need proof of the death and tax information for the tax year to be used.

If no valid proof of death is shown on SSA records (MBR, NUMI, etc.), follow GN 00304.005 through GN 00304.050 to obtain preferred evidence of proof of the death.

A beneficiary may submit the following tax information:

  • An estimate of MAGI and tax filing status for the tax year they are requesting SSA to use (current premium year or PY-1), or

  • A signed copy of the PY-1 tax return (or a filed amended tax return with an IRS letter of receipt for PY-1) if PY-1 tax return shows a significant reduction in MAGI.

    NOTE: If the beneficiary provides an estimate of MAGI process the request using the estimate. Request the beneficiary to supply a signed copy of the tax return once it has been filed with the IRS. Once the filed tax return is received follow the procedures listed in HI 01120.065. If a beneficiary alleges electronic filing, ask the beneficiary to print and sign a copy of the electronic return. If a beneficiary is updating a MAGI estimate, follow the procedures listed in HI 01120.065.

C. How to Process The Request



The beneficiary states the spouse has died and

  • MAGI will be significantly lower and

  • has proof of the death or there is proof of death on the MBR or NUMI.

  • Evaluate the evidence of death.

  • Obtain MAGI and tax filing status information from the beneficiary for the tax year to be used.

    NOTE: Two separate premium year inputs are necessary with all LCEs.

  • Access the IRMAA screens (See MSOM T2PE 008.001 through MSOM T2PE 008.019)

  • On the IRMN screen

    • Enter the Beneficiary's Own SSN.

    • In the “Select the Desired Option” field select “1” Establish

    • Input the premium year that the new initial determination request is for.

    • In the “Select the Desired Function” field select “1” Life Changing Event

    • Input the Tax Year the beneficiary requests we use to determine the IRMAA.

    • Press Enter

  • The PYTY screen appears when there is data on file for the tax year requested and it is displayed under the Highest Probative Value Data Field. (For an explanation of Highest Probative see MSOM T2PE 008.019.)

    • If you select “1” Use Highest Probative Data, the system will process the determination using that data on file. The data will be propagated to the IRMA screen.

    • If you select “2” New Tax Data, the system will process the determination using the new information provided as long as the value of the data is of higher value than the information on file.

    • Press Enter.

  • On the IRLC screen

    • In the “Select Life Changing Event” Field select “1” Death of Spouse.

    • In the “Date of Life Changing Event” field enter the date of death (Month and Year)

    • Show Proof as “1” Proven

    • Press Enter

  • On the IRMA screen

    • Input the beneficiary's alleged adjusted gross income and tax exempt interest for the tax year the beneficiary is requesting to use. NOTE: If selection “1” Use Highest Probative Data on the PYTY was selected, the information will be propagated and ca