I-2-8-37.When Decision Is Needed if Claimant Dies While Request for Hearing Is Pending
Last Update: 12/29/14 (Transmittal I-2-132)
A. Claimant Dies Before ALJ Holds the Hearing
If the claimant dies before an administrative law judge (ALJ) holds the hearing, hearing office (HO) staff will first determine whether there is another party to the hearing who may be adversely affected by the determination. For information about who is a party to a hearing, see Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law (HALLEX) manual I-2-1-45. If there is another party and the party states in writing that he or she wishes to pursue the claim, the ALJ will schedule and hold a hearing. However, if the party states that he or she does not wish to pursue the claim, the ALJ may dismiss the request for hearing. See HALLEX I-2-4-35.
If there is not another party to the hearing, HO staff will review the claim(s) file to determine whether there is a substitute party or qualified survivor. See HALLEX I-2-1-50. If there is no such person, or such a person exists but has stated in writing that he or she does not wish to pursue the claim, the ALJ may dismiss the request for hearing. See HALLEX I-2-4-35. Unless there is another basis for dismissal (see HALLEX I-2-4-5), if a substitute party of qualified survivor intends to pursue the claim, the ALJ will consider the case on its merits and issue a decision.
As explained in more detail in HALLEX I-2-4-35, if a deceased claimant authorized interim assistance reimbursement to a state and the claim is title XVI, the ALJ must issue a decision.
B. Claimant Dies After ALJ Holds the Hearing
If the claimant dies after the ALJ holds the hearing and the record is complete, the ALJ will issue a decision in the usual manner. If HO staff knows the name and address of the deceased claimant's next of kin, the HO will send the deceased claimant's copy of the decision to that person.
If HO staff does not know the name and address of the deceased claimant's next of kin, the HO will send the deceased claimant's copy of the decision to “Next of Kin of [name of deceased claimant]” at the deceased claimant's last known address.