Basic (03-01)

VB 01505.020 Reinstatement of SVB After Erroneous Death Termination

A. Policy

The processing of a false death report or an incorrect input for death can result in an erroneous death termination. An individual must provide SSA with acceptable proof of identity and supply identifying information that matches the information on the SSR or on the San Francisco SVB Intranet Site before SVB entitlement can be reinstated.


EXCEPTION: If the death termination resulted from an obvious administrative error, such as a keying error, proof of identity is not necessary.

B. List of Acceptable Proofs of Identity (ID)

The following is a list of some of the documents that may be acceptable proof of ID provided that they show at least one piece of ID information (in addition to name) and the ID information matches the information on the SSR or San Francisco SVB Intranet Site:

  • Drivers license

  • Passport

  • U.S. Government or State ID card

  • Marriage or divorce record

  • Clinic, doctor, or hospital records

  • Military records

  • Church membership record

  • Life insurance policy

  • Hospital or medical insurance card

  • Another document that establishes the individual's identity using the criteria in RM 00203.200I.

NOTE: Philippine postal, voters and senior citizen's identification cards meet the criteria in RM 00203.200I and are acceptable evidence of identity as these documents usually provide information the reviewer can compare with the applicant (e.g., picture). In addition, the applicant has to apply personally in order to be issued any of these documents, each of which is countersigned by a local official, increasing its probative value.

C. List of Unacceptable Proofs of Identity (ID)

The following lists some documents that should not be accepted as ID documents as they are generally based on allegations and have little or no probative value.

  • Library card

  • Vehicle registration

  • Voter's registration card

  • Credit card

  • Rental or lease agreement

  • Shopping card (i.e., grocery store card)

  • Cancelled check

  • Bank deposit slip

  • Telephone/utility bill

D. Procedure — SVB Individual Requests Reinstatement After Death Termination

SSA does not send a notice when terminating payments due to the death of an SVB recipient. When an erroneous death termination is discovered, SSA can reopen and revise the death determination based on new and material evidence (VB 02507.040E.5.). Take the following steps when a reinstatement of SVB is requested after processing an erroneous death termination:




Was the termination clearly due to an administrative error? Try to determine this by reviewing the death report and the information on the San Francisco Intranet site or SSR when available.

IF YES, CPS should reinstate benefits and send a notice explaining that SSA has reinstated the individual's entitlement to SVB.

IF NO, go to Step 2.


The CPS, FO, or FBU will conduct a face-to-face interview with the SVB beneficiary and request proof of identity (VB 01505.020 B). Does the individual have acceptable proof of identity and does the identifying information match the information reflected on the SSR or San Francisco SVB Intranet Site?

IF YES, prepare a determination per VB 01505.020E.1. and send it to the appropriate CPS. (NOTE: If the SVB beneficiary is outside the United States, the FBU will fax a reinstatement recommendation to the servicing CPS. This, along with all other SVB claims material, will be mailed to the appropriate CPS.) The CPS will reinstate benefits and send a notice as described in Step 1.

IF NO, fax the claims material and supporting documentation to (410) 966-7025. Annotate “Attention: SVB Erroneous Death Termination” and show the SVB individual's SSN. Consider fraud development (see sensitive instructions in GN 04110.000).

E. Procedure – Document the File

1. Reinstatement Determinations

The CPS will prepare an SSA-5002 or Form SSA-553 (Special Determination) to document the reinstatement decision. Describe the events leading to the death termination. Provide facts to affirm the death termination or facts to support a decision that the death termination was erroneous.

2. Determination Supports SVB Reinstatement

Determinations to reinstate SVB must be approved by an operations supervisor or higher CPS official. The determination and the systems input document to reinstate SVB must be signed, including a job title, and dated by the CPS official.

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VB 01505.020 - Reinstatement of SVB After Erroneous Death Termination - 07/07/2014
Batch run: 04/18/2018