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Where Do I File for Benefits?

For individually-owned life insurance, contact the deceased's life insurance agent. The agent will give you the necessary forms to file a claim. (You might also want to check if the deceased held any life insurance through credit card or bank offers, and so on.) In most cases, life insurance companies require only two forms to establish proof of a claim: a claimant's statement and a death certificate or an attending physician's statement. The beneficiary completes the claimant's statement. Click here for six ways to receive your death claim money from New York Life.

For work-related benefits, visit the deceased employer's Human Resources Department. Since some people are covered by group insurance where they work, inquire about the benefit that may be due to you and how to file a claim. Also, ask about pension fund benefits, accrued vacation and sick pay, terminal pay allowances, disability income, and credit union balances. Pay special attention to the deceased's hospital, surgical, and disability coverages to see whether you and your dependents are still eligible for benefits and, if so, for how long.

Notify the Social Security Administration  This link will open an external site in a new browser. of the death. If the deceased was covered under Social Security, you may be eligible for a lump-sum death benefit. If you're a spouse, "you must have been married for at least nine months before your spouse's death to be eligible for benefits, unless his death was the result of an accident or military service," says ivillage.com1.

To apply for social security benefits, MsMoney.com  This link will open an external site in a new browser. notes that you will need the Social Security number of the beneficiary and the deceased, the death and marriage certificates, if applicable, and the bank account number of the beneficiary.

Contact the Veteran's Administration.  This link will open an external site in a new browser. If the deceased served in the military, he or she may be eligible for a veteran's burial in a state or national cemetery, funeral costs reimbursements, life insurance proceeds, and even funeral honors. The military funeral honors homepage is www.militaryfuneralhonors.osd.milThis link will open an external site in a new browser. For more information, contact your local VA office.

Contact organizations to find out whether you are eligible for any benefits. Many such groups (unions, service organizations, or professional organizations) offer life insurance policies at group rates.

1http://www.ivillage.com/money/life_stage/single/articles/0,10509,165405_61195,00.html

Last updated date 10/26/2010

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Where Do I File for Benefits?

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