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Report a Death of a Social Security Beneficiary


When a Social Security beneficiary passes away, the death must be reported to the Department of Social Security. Accordingly, there are certain steps that must be taken to cancel benefits or transfer the payments to an eligible survivor.

Failing to report the death of a Social Security beneficiary can be problematic for a couple of reasons. First, since most of the benefits by the department are paid in advance, any payments received from Social Security after the beneficiary passes away will have to be returned. If the date of death coincides with the payment date, no overpayment is created. However, if the beneficiary received a payment after the date of death or any later months, that payment is considered as an overpayment and would have to be refunded to the DSS by the spouse or heirs.

Continuing to receive benefits after someone dies, even if that person was a spouse and the benefits are going into a joint account is a crime. Second, failing to report the death could cause another beneficiary to miss out on collecting Social Security survivor benefits.

Local deaths must be registered at one of the Public Registry offices. During such visit, the deceased’s identity card would have to be returned. Thus, it is advisable for relatives / friends of the deceased to make a copy of the identity card.

What you’ll get

One may submit a copy of the original death or burial certificate online to the Department of Social Security. The primary method of reporting is by submitting a copy of the original death certificate which serves as evidence of the individual’s death. Since this official document may take between three (3) to six (6) weeks to be issued , the burial certificate issued by the Parish Priest is also accepted. Reporting the death at the earliest is crucial to prevent the inadvertent continuation of benefit payments and to initiate necessary actions for any survivors. The death can be reported by any relative or other person, provided that the original death certificate is available.


General eligibility criteria:

If you think you might be eligible to receive Social Security survivor benefits after the death of a beneficiary, there are some steps you’ll need to take to apply for them. The first step is by reporting the death to the Department of Social Security. You can also begin the application process at the time you report the death.

The heir/heirs may request to receive from the Department of Social Security the balance of Social Security Benefit/s which should have been entitled to the late beneficiary.

How to access the service

Fill in and submit the application online.