SSA logo: link to Social Security Online home1721. When is a missing person presumed dead?

We presume a person is dead if he or she has been missing from home and has not been heard from for seven years or more. This presumption applies regardless of the reason for the absence.

Once the presumption applies, it can only be disputed if we:

  1. Prove the person is alive; or

  2. Provide an explanation that explains the individual's absence and continued life.