GN KC00304.005 Evidence of Death (RTN 01 – 3/2011)

See GN 00304.005 Preferred Evidence of Death

A. Operating procedure for obtaining evidence of death

Obtain proof of death per GN 00304.001. Develop evidence of death in the following order.

1. Preferred evidence of death

For initial claims processing, obtain preferred evidence of death, if available, unless acceptable proof of death has already been obtained and this data is shown as proven in SSA records. Evidence of death in SSA records includes:

  1. a. 


    For evidence of death shown as proven on the MBR, see GN 00304.001B.

  2. b. 


    • For evidence of death shown as proven on the Numident, see GN 00304.100.

    • For instructions on using Electronic Death Registration (EDR) death data on the Numident as proof of death, see the instructions in GN 00304.100B.3.a

    NOTE: For States in the Kansas City Region that participate in EDR, see GN KC00304.005C.

2. Secondary evidence of death

If preferred evidence of death in GN 00304.005 - GN 00304.010 is not available within 10 days of the evidence request, begin development of secondary evidence of death as described in GN 00304.015.

B. Background for EDR Process

EDR is an electronic reporting process used by some states to verify a person's death. EDR proof of death is normally posted to the Numident within five days from the date of death. This verification helps to ensure the accuracy of the data SSA uses for its programs.

All funeral homes within a state do not have to participate in EDR in order for the state to be considered an EDR state.

C. EDR Status in the Kansas City Region

Kansas, Iowa, Nebraska and Missouri are the only states in the Kansas City Region that currently participate in EDR. Follow GN KC00304.005E to develop evidence for deaths that occur in these states.

REMINDER: Most, but not all, funeral homes in KS, MO and NE participate in EDR. Iowa is the latest state to join EDR in the Kansas City Region.

D. Funeral Directors Role in EDR States

Funeral directors in states that register deaths via EDR are NOT encouraged by SSA to send an SSA-721 to field offices. Funeral directors using EDR, however, are encouraged to continue to provide members of the public with the “fact sheet” portion of the SSA-721. This “fact sheet” provides important information about who is eligible for benefits and how to apply for them.

E. Operating Procedures for Developing Proof of Death in EDR States

If the death occurred in an EDR state and preferred evidence of death described in GN 00304.005B.1 is not available, use the following instructions:

  1. 1. 

    Check the Numident record for proof of death (GN 00304.100).

    • If proof if death is posted, STOP

    • If proof of death is NOT posted, go to step 2

  2. 2. 

    Determine if the funeral home participates in the EDR program:



The funeral home is listed as an EDR participant on EDR Listing KS/MO/NE

All Iowa Funeral Homes participate in EDR.


Funeral homes that participate in EDR are NOT encouraged by SSA to provide form SSA-721 to field offices.



Allow 10 days from the date of death for the EDR death information to post to the Numident record (GN 00304.100). If EDR proof of death is still not posted to the Numident after 10 days, develop for secondary evidence of death per GN 00304.015.

The funeral home is NOT listed as an EDR participant on EDR Listing KS/MO/NE

You may call the funeral home. Immediately after introducing yourself, ask, “Does your funeral home participate in EDR?”

If the answer is YES:

  • Do NOT request an SSA-721 or discuss the missing EDR proof.

  • Inform the funeral home we will add them to our list of EDR participants.

  • Request CPS add the funeral home as an EDR participant by sending an email to CPS using the following link: Report a New EDR Participant .

  • Follow the above procedures for a funeral home listed as an EDR participant.

If the answer is NO:

  • You may request an SSA-721.

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GN KC00304.005 - Evidence of Death (RTN 01 – 3/2011) - 03/28/2011
Batch run: 04/21/2023