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Reporting the Death of a Social Security Beneficiary: The Importance of Timely Reporting

01/07/2023 | Latest News

Losing a loved one is a difficult experience, and amidst the emotional challenges, certain administrative responsibilities need to be addressed. When a Social Security beneficiary passes away, it is vital to report their death to the Department of Social Security at the earliest possible. Failing to do so can result in difficulties, such as having to return overpaid benefits or missing out on Social Security benefits that the survivor might be eligible for.

Certain procedures must be followed when reporting a death of a Social Security beneficiary. 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 3 to 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.

Failing to report the death of a Social Security beneficiary can lead to significant issues. Firstly, since Social Security benefits are generally paid in advance, any payments received after the beneficiary’s death must be returned. It is essential to avoid receiving benefits meant for a deceased individual.

Secondly, reporting the death is crucial for survivors who, apart from being responsible for reporting the death, may be eligible for Social Security survivor benefits. To determine eligibility for Social Security survivor benefits, individuals need to report the death to the Department of Social Security. Reporting the death also initiates the eligible applications processes, allowing potential survivors to begin their claim.

It is highly important, that should the surviving spouse be eligible for benefits, the bank account details that is to be provided for any payments, must not be a joint account which was shared with the beneficiary who passed away. Such accounts are automatically closed off by the bank involved upon a death being reported.

In addition to reporting the death to the Department of Social Security, Maltese citizens deaths must also be registered with Identity Malta. This registration ensures that all official records are updated accordingly and prevents any potential complications related to legal and administrative matters.

By notifying the Department of Social Security, individuals can avoid legal issues arising from the continuation of benefit payments after a beneficiary’s passing. While potential survivors can initiate the process of applying for Social Security survivor benefits, providing them with the financial support they may need during a challenging time. Remember, in times of loss, it is essential to address both the emotional and administrative aspects, ensuring a smooth transition for all parties involved.

You may report the death of a Social Security beneficiary online or by visiting a hub.