The CORE process acts as a true stop-payment and enables the RFRB to deny payment
to a financial institution (FI) that cashes a check after the death of the beneficiary,
recipient, or representative payee. Prior to the implementation of CORE, if the check
was cashed, it caused a payment over-cancellation and was recovered by reclamation
(see Payment Over-Cancellation (POC)/Credit Reversal GN 02406.245).
The Bureau of the Fiscal Service (Fiscal Service) sends a daily file containing death
information to the RFRB when we advise (Fiscal Service) that the payee is deceased
(through the death input and subsequent E-stops generated) and is not due any payments
issued after death. The information is matched against checks sent to the RFRB for
payment. When there is a match, the check is stamped, "Not Negotiable, Payee Deceased/Not
Entitled, Questions—Contact Authorizing Agency." DT cancels the check and returns
it to the FI unpaid. DT then returns a credit for the amount of the check to SSA.
FIs have instructions to give the non-negotiable check back to the individual who
cashed it and resolve any problems that may have resulted from the transaction with
that individual. The matter is now between the FI and the person who cashed the check—not
SSA. The FI may take additional steps to recover the funds, such as debiting the person’s
EXCEPTION: If a check issued after the death of a beneficiary or recipient is cashed before
SSA is aware of the death (late notification of death), the CORE process cannot prevent
these checks from being paid.