VB 01505.015 Death of a Beneficiary (T01)
A beneficiary's entitlement to SVB terminates the month after the month of death (T01). SVB payments issued after the month of death are not considered overpayments except when a representative payee negotiates a payment made after the date of the SVB beneficiary's death (GN 02602.050A.4.). See GN 02408.301 for procedures on handling incorrect SVB payments made after death of the beneficiary. If a pre-existing SVB overpayment remains outstanding upon the death of the SVB recipient, see VB 02005.101.
SVB payments cannot be certified once a beneficiary is placed in T01 status on the SSR. As a result, SVB underpayments are not payable and are reverted to the U.S. Treasury. Even unnegotiated SVB checks correctly paid for months of SVB entitlement prior to death are not considered underpayments and these checks are not to be cashed after the date of the SVB beneficiary's death.
The following are the three stages of processing a death report for an SVB beneficiary:
Determine whether the report of death is a first- or third- party report (VB 01501.000) SSA receives death reports from several sources. The source could be, but is not limited to one of the following:
a representative payee, relative, friend, neighbor, or an unidentified individual;
a returned check in the FO or U.S. Embassy or consulate;
a death report from the U.S. Treasury Department;
an MBR interface; or
a computer match with various outside agencies.
Determine whether SVB can be terminated immediately (i.e., the report of death is a first-party report per VB 01501.000) or the death must first be verified or proven before SVB can be terminated (i.e., the report of death is a third-party report per VB 01501.000). Process the systems input to post an entry in the DH field on the SSR (SM 01301.375). An entry in the DH field will result in a systems-generated death termination (T01) for the SVB individual.
The system terminates benefits (T01) effective with the month after the DH field date. When an FO or CPS inputs the death termination, the T01 date must equal the month after the month of death (SM 01305.001). SVB payments will stop with the next month possible depending on the monthly recurring payment tape cutoff date.
NOTE: T01 terminations are exceptions to Goldberg/Kelly procedures that require an advance notice of an adverse action (SI 02301.300E).