Identification Number:
GN 02602 TN 63
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:OISP
Title:Continuing Eligibility
Type:POMS Transmittals
Link To Reference:

Part GN – General
Chapter 026 – Posteligibility
Subchapter 02 – Continuing Eligibility
Transmittal No. 63, 09/03/2019



Originating Component


Effective Date

Upon Receipt


This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.

Summary of Changes

GN 02602.050 Reports of Death

Subsection D - Removed title of referenced section GN 02602.070-it was not necessary to list it here since the full title of the section is listed under the references in subsection G. Removed the final two paragraphs from "Verification of third-party reports" as they are no longer applicable and are obsolete due to software enhancements.


GN 02602.065 Types of Death Alerts

Subsection B - Added new OPM and Third-Party (Alleged) alert types due to software enhancements.

GN 02602.050 Reports of Death

A. Policy for accepting reports of death

SSA receives and processes reports of death from a variety of sources. Death information is used to terminate benefits of Title II beneficiaries and Title XVI recipients. Reports of death also alert us to pursue claims for benefits to surviving spouses and children. As part of the Death Processing Redesign effort, the Numident will become the agency’s official source of death information. As such, all death reports must be recorded on the Numident using the Death Information Processing System (DIPS). This system then automatically sends death information to the agency’s payment systems.

B. Proof of death

To terminate benefits, documented proof of death is not required; however, if the death of an individual results in the potential entitlement of another person, you must obtain a proof of death document that meets the requirements for payment of survivor benefits. The following documents are examples of acceptable proofs of death:

  • a death certificate (D/C),

  • an SSA-704 (Certification of Contents of Records) in lieu of a D/C,

  • an SSA-721, or

  • a Numident record that shows death data based on an Electronic Death Registration (EDR) report.

For additional information on deaths that may affect entitlement to benefits, see GN 00304.000, RS 00210.005, and RS 00207.004.

NOTE: These reports are often referred to as "proven" death information.

C. First-party reports of death

A first-party death report is received from an acceptable reporter. The following are examples of first-party reporters:

  • representative payee or agent (e.g., physician, lawyer, accountant),

  • competent adult entitled on the same SSN, or

  • relative, e.g., a spouse, parent, or sibling, etc.

Do not verify first-party reports of death from acceptable reporters.

NOTE: These reports are often referred to as "verified" death information.

D. Third-party reports of death

A third-party death report is an event reported by someone other than a first party. The following are examples of third-party reporters:

  • Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS),

  • State social service office (e.g., Welfare Office),

  • Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), or

  • a friend or neighbor

NOTE: These reports are often referred to as "alleged" death information.

Verification of third-party reports

We must verify reports of death for beneficiaries that are received from third-party sources before we can terminate benefits. For third-party reports of death that automatically generate a “Third-Party Verification” alert on the Death Alerts Tracking System (DATS), follow the steps in GN 02602.070 to verify the death report.

E. Reports of death for non-beneficiaries

You should accept and post death reports for non-beneficiaries without further verification. However, the reporter must supply the following pertinent information to establish his or her identity, as well as to establish the identity of the deceased before you can accept the report of death:

  • First and last name of the non-beneficiary,

  • Date of birth of the non-beneficiary

  • SSN of the non-beneficiary,

  • Date of death of the non-beneficiary,

  • the name, address, and phone number of the person making the report, and

  • the relationship of the reporter to the non-beneficiary.

Verify the non-beneficiary’s information in the Death Information Processing System (DIPS) before adding the death information into DIPS (See GN 02602.051, Processing Reports of Death Using the Death Information Processing System (DIPS) and the DIPS User Guide for instructions on using DIPS). Record the reporter’s information in EVID.

NOTE: If the reporter refuses to identify himself or herself, do not accept the report of death. If the reporter is unable to provide the required identifying information for the deceased, advise the reporter that if he or she can obtain the necessary information, we can accept the report of death. If the reporter does not provide, or is unable to provide the pertinent information, do not process the report.

F. Additional Actions

The following are possible additional actions you may need to take once you receive and process a report of death.

  • Advise the reporter not to cash the check for the month of death (and any later months) and to return the check, if appropriate. If the reporter cashed the check for the month of death (and any later months), do not ask for a refund. Advise the reporter that the Treasury Department (TD) may request the funds back from the bank that cashed the check for a period of up to 12 months from the month that SSA learns of the death. Do not accept a repayment agreement.

  • If the reporter asks if he or she should make a refund, or how to make a refund, advise the person that he or she must first inform the financial institution (FI) of the death as soon as possible. We will then debit any incorrect payments from the person’s account. The FI will return the payment to us as soon as they are informed of the death or upon the request of the TD via the Notice of Reclamation.

  • If the case meets the overpayment criteria in GN 02201.001, advise the reporter that there is an overpayment and that we will notify the overpaid person.

  • Initiate “Living in Same Household” (LISH) and “Child in Care” development if appropriate. For more information LISH, see RS 00210.035B and for conditions for Entitlement and Definitions, see RS 01310.001.

    Note: Remember to develop leads for surviving (spouse and children) claims.

  • Check for multiple or dual entitlement. For procedure on checking for multiple, dual, or other entitlement, see GN 02602.065D.

  • Check eRPS to see if the decedent was a representative payee for another beneficiary.

G. References

GN 00304.000 Proof of Death

GN 02201.001 What is a Title II Overpayment

GN 02602.051 Processing Reports of Death Using the Death Information Processing System (DIPS)

GN 02602.065 Types of Death Alerts

GN 02602.070 Procedure for Resolving Death Alerts

RS 00210.035 LSDP for a Surviving Spouse Living in the Same Household (LISH)

RS 01310.001 Conditions for Entitlement and Definitions

RS 00210.005 Evidence Requirements for the Lump-Sum Death Payment (LSDP)

RS 00207.004 Widow(er)'s Benefits - Table of Proofs and Development - Policy

DIPS User Guide

GN 02602.065 Types of Death Alerts

This section defines the alerts you may encounter when processing death information. For instructions on how to resolve death alerts, see GN 02602.070.

A. What is an alert?

A death alert is a notification to the field that action is required to resolve an issue related to a death report. Alerts are generated to the field office (FO), and displayed on the Death Alerts Tracking System (DATS). DATS is an Intranet application that provides daily listings of death alerts at the FO, district, or area level.

B. Types of alerts

1. Third-party verification

Third-party verification alerts are death reports for beneficiaries from third parties that we must verify by following the steps in GN 02602.050 before we can post death to the Numident. We consider a death report from a third party as verified when a first-party reporter agrees the person died. These are the types of third-party alerts:

  1. a. 

    CMS – Third-party death verification required for beneficiary (DM subcode CM)

    This is a report from the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.

  2. b. 

    VA – Third-party death verification required for beneficiary (DM subcode VA)

    This is a report from the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  3. c. 

    State Agency – Third-party death verification required for beneficiary (DM subcode BX)

    This is a report from a state agency, other than the State Bureau of Vital Statistics.

  4. d. 

    OPM – Third-party death verification required for beneficiary (DM subcode OP)

    This is a report from the Office of Personnel Management.

  5. e. 

    Third-Party (Alleged) – Third-party death verification required for beneficiary (DM subcode AD)

    This is a report from a third-party input through the Death Information Processing System (DIPS).

2. Name does not match

You will receive this alert if the name entered through Title 2, does not match the Numident name:

T2 – DIPS Input Required – Additional Development For Identity Mismatch (DM subcode DN).

3. DIPS not used

If we add death to Title 2 first, instead of through DIPS, the following alert will be generated:

T2 – DIPS Input Required (DM subcode DX).

Resolve this alert by making a DIPS transaction; no further development is necessary.

REMINDER: To avoid getting this type of alert, always enter death information into DIPS first, before entering death into the T2 payment systems.

4. Numident Death Alerts

When death data is present on the Numident, but there is no corresponding death data on the payment records for an individual on the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) and Supplemental Security Record (SSR), the system produces a Numident Death Alert. We perform this match for the following reasons:

  • Reduce improper payments (if death does not make it to the payment records, the person remains in current pay, receiving benefits, until these alerts are resolved);

  • Remove personally identifiable information from the Death Master File if an individual is alive;

  • Allow proper posting of earnings;

  • Identify cases where death information is posted to the Numident, but not all active payment records have been terminated for the deceased; and

  • Identify cases where benefits or payments were reinstated following an erroneous death termination action, but death information was not removed from the Numident.

For instructions to process these alerts see GN 02602.070 (for ETC: D cases, see RM 10220.415).

C. References

GN 02602 TN 63 - Continuing Eligibility - 9/03/2019