TN 31 (10-23)

RM 03870.085 How to Resolve Earnings After Death Cases

A. Procedure for employer inquiries

1. Employer Questions Form SSA-L4112C1

If an employer inquires about the SSA-L4112C1, advise the employer that there is a problem with the NH's ER and SSA needs the information to verify the NH's employment for the employer in the year indicated. DO NOT tell the employer that SSA records indicate the NH is deceased, see RM 03870.080.

2. Employer states NH died

If the employer states the NH died and gives the DOD, advise the employer that payments made after an individual's death are not subject to FICA. Advise the employer to contact IRS for any refund of taxes.

3. NH no longer works for employer

If the employer states the NH no longer works for the company, if possible, obtain a current or last known address for the NH. Advise the employer to disregard the notice. Follow the instructions in subsection B. in this section for development with the NH.

4. NH working for employer

If the employer states the NH is still working for them, request the employer to advise the employee to contact their local FO as there may be a problem with the employee's ER. If the employer provides a current address for the NH, develop following the instructions in subsection B. in this section.

B. Procedure for inquiries

1. Request Numident

If the NH contacts SSA as the result of receipt of the SSA-L3044C1 (Social Notice to Employee), SSA-L3400C1 (Social Security Request) or upon the advice of their employer:

  • Obtain and review the Numident for DOD and the source of the death information.

  • Request SEQY, DEQY and MBR for the year in question and surrounding years for comparison purposes.

  • Review the DEQY for DOD and for an “E” offset indicator for years 1988-1990.

IMPORTANT: If the year is 1991 or later the DEQY and SEQY will show no postings since earnings will be in suspense.

2. Verify NH's identity and SSN

Verify the NH's Identity, see GN 00304.100, RM 10210.405 through RM 10210.430.

Verify the NH's SSN and determine if the NH is using the correct SSN.

3. SSN correct and earnings do not belong to NH

If the NH's SSN is correct but the earnings do not belong to the NH:

  1. a. 

    Request the NH to complete a statement disclaiming the earnings per RM 03870.060.

  2. b. 

    Remove the incorrect DOD from the Numident using DACUS (or via SSA-3278 if appropriate) per RM 03870.090.

  3. c. 

    Develop to resolve the scramble and identify the NH to whom the earnings belong.

4. SSN correct and earnings belong to NH

If the NH's SSN is correct, and the earnings belong to the NH:

  1. a. 

    Obtain the NH's statement indicating the earnings belong to them.

  2. b. 

    Request evidence of the NH's earnings such as a W-2, pay stub, SE tax returns, etc. Do not retain the evidence.

  3. c. 

    Remove the incorrect DOD from the Numident via DACUS or via SSA-3278 (if appropriate) per RM 03870.090.

  4. d. 

    Correct the MEF per RM 03870.090. If the EAD file is forwarded to OCRO, indicate the type of evidence seen and include any EAD correspondence forms.

5. SSN incorrect

If the NH is using an incorrect SSN, develop to determine the correct SSN. If none is located, request the NH to complete a Form SS-5 for assignment of an SSN.

When the correct SSN is identified for reinstating the earnings, see RM 03870.090.

6. PC development for claims cases

For claims cases:

  1. a. 

    Review the MBR, DEQY and Numidents. See subsection B.1. in this section.

  2. b. 

    Determine if the death indicator is the result of a previous incorrect termination coding, i.e., T1 in lieu of T4.

  3. c. 

    Request FO development to determine if NH is deceased and to resolve earnings issue. Advise the FO to remove any incorrect death indicator for the Numident before returning the case to the PC.

7. Relative and estate states NH deceased

If a relative or a representative of the NH's estate states the NH is deceased, no action is necessary.

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RM 03870.085 - How to Resolve Earnings After Death Cases - 10/18/2023
Batch run: 10/18/2023