What Do I Do if a Federal Employee Dies? - United Benefits

Whether you are preparing for the future or if your loved one was a federal employee, it can be difficult to sort through the various processes and systems associated with federal benefits.

United Benefits representatives are available to help you through a difficult time. If you need immediate assistance with navigating federal benefits after a death, please contact us. We also have a Family Member Guide to Processing Death Claims for Federal Employees that outlines the process. Below is a brief overview.

Life Insurance Claim Application

When an active or retired federal employee passes away there are several steps that the surviving beneficiaries need to take. First, you will want to handle FEGLI (Federal Employee Group Life Insurance). Most active federal employees will have default life Insurance. In that case, the amount is the federal employee’s annual salary rounded up to the nearest $1,000 plus an extra $2,000. For example: if the salary is $47,722, rounded up to $48,000 + $2,000 = $50,000 policy.

Most retired federal employees take a 75% reduction in their FEGLI. For our example, the retiree would have a $12,500 policy. They might also have Part A ($10,000.00 policy) or Part B (up to 5 times their base salary). All beneficiaries of federal employees will need to fill out the application forms with instructions in this link. If you are an IRS employee, you can also call ERC (Employee Resource Center) at 866-743-5748. You will need the deceased name, social security number, date of birth and death certificate.

Death Benefit Application

Death benefit depend on your relationship to the deceased federal employee and when the deceased passed.

Death in Service (Actively Employed)

If the federal employee dies while still working the spouse may be entitled to 50% of the base pay plus an additional $15,000.00. If the death occurred after December 1, 2016, the spouse may get 50% of base pay plus an additional $32,423.56 (Cost of Living Adjustment). To get this benefit the employee must have at least 18 months of credible service and have been married for at least 9 months.

A former spouse may receive this benefit (whole or in part) if a qualifying court order awarded a benefit. The former spouse must have been marred to the deceased for 9 months and did not get married again until after the age of 55.

Children may also be eligible for a monthly survivor benefit If the deceased worked for at least 10 years (18 months of which must be civilian service).

Death as a Retiree

The surviving spouse may receive the Survivor Monthly Annuity if it was selected at the time of separation from service. A former spouse would receive this benefit if it was awarded through a court order. Note: you will need the CSA Claim Number of the deceased. This number can be found on the 1099 R Form. When a spouse files for this survivor annuity, OPM will issue them their own CSF number, which refers to their survivor annuity. If the deceased falls under CSRS, the beneficiary may also be entitled to select a lump sum plus interest of any remaining principle in the CSRS account in place of the monthly annuity.

Click here for the FERS Death Benefit application, instructions and mailing address.

Click here for the CSRS Death Benefit application, instructions and mailing address.

Click here for the OPM Overview of Death Benefits.

United Benefits can help your family navigate all federal benefits that your family is entitled to.

When you need to file a death claim, United Benefits is here to help. Contact us for assistance. Need to update your beneficiaries? We can also help you update beneficiaries for your FERS and CSRS, TSP, and FEGLI.

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