I-3-8-35.Death of Claimant Shortly After Less Than Favorable Disability Decision Issued

Last Update: 3/9/15 (Transmittal I-3-103)

The Appeals Council will consider whether reopening and revision is necessary if the claimant dies shortly after the Appeals Council issued an unfavorable disability decision. However, the Appeals Council need only consider further action if there is another person who may qualify as a substitute party or qualified survivor on the claim. For more information about substitute parties and qualified survivors, see generally the instructions in Hearings, Appeals and Litigation Law manual I-3-4-4.

To determine whether further inquiry is necessary, the Appeals Council will consider issues such as:

  • The date the claimant last met insured status for disability purposes;

  • The length of time between the date of the latest pertinent medical evidence of record and the date of death;

  • Whether the death resulted from the impairment(s) previously considered; and

  • Whether the cause of death, if known, requires a reevaluation of the medical evidence already of record.