The Loss of a Loved One


Loss of a Loved One

The death of a loved one, whether expected or unexpected, is often has a devastating effect on you and other family members.

Navigating the grieving process can be challenging, but the other changes associated with the loss of a loved one can also be difficult to comprehend and deal with. Getting your loved one's estate and finances in order, for example, can pose obstacles and certainly many questions. You'll need to review your loved one's papers as well as their benefits package.





Notify Human Resources to remove dependents from benefit plans. Your employer Human Resources Department will work with the beneficiaries to handle the necessary paperwork.

Within 30 days of the death, you may elect any medical coverage you are losing under your spouse’s plan. If you currently cover your deceased dependent, you must drop his or her coverage for medical, dental, or vision although you may continue to cover the rest of your family. You may also elect to change your medical and dependent care FSA amounts. Again, you should review your beneficiary designations for life insurance, retirement savings, and pension plans. You will need to complete the appropriate forms and provide a copy of the certified death certificate.
Note: In general, a certified copy of the death certificate will be required.
Social Security: Contact your nearest Social Security office for information on survivor benefits as the spouse or children may be entitled to a survivor benefit.  For more information call (800) 772-1213.
Be prepared to provide:
  • The death certificate (or a certified copy)
  • The Social Security number of the deceased
  • The decedent's latest W-2 form or tax return
  • The name and address of the decedent's employer
  • Social Security numbers of spouse and minor children
  • Birth certificates of spouse and minor children
  • Marriage certificate
  • Divorce papers, if applicable
Veterans Administration: For assistance in filing claims for veterans and survivor benefits, counseling or emergency financial assistance, contact:
Disabled American Veterans
P.O. Box 14301
Cincinnati, OH 45250-0301
(606) 441-6300
For information on military funerals, contact:
Veterans of Foreign Wars
VFW Memorial Building
200 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, DC 20002
(202) 543-2239