A claimant must be alive at the time an application is filed. There are the following exceptions to this general rule:
(a) If a disabled person dies before filing an application for disability benefits or a period of disability, a person who would be qualified to receive any benefits due the deceased may file an application. The application must be filed within 3 months after the month in which the disabled person died.
(b) If a written statement showing an intent to claim benefits is filed with us, but the person for whom the benefits are claimed dies before an application is filed, an application may be filed as explained in § 404.630(d).
(c) If a person who could receive benefits on the basis of a “deemed” filing date of an application under § 404.633 (b)(1)(i) or (b)(2)(i) dies before an application for the benefits is filed, the application may be signed by a person who would be qualified to receive any benefits due the deceased person as explained in § 404.633 (b)(1)(ii) and (b)(2)(ii).
[44 FR 37209, June 26, 1979, as amended at 59 FR 44923, Aug. 31, 1994; 61 FR 41330, Aug. 8, 1996]