Medicare is administered and monitored by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, but you must contact the Social Security Administration to report the death of a Medicare beneficiary, if you are acting on the beneficiary's behalf. Medicare notifies the beneficiary's Medicare drug and health plan providers once Social Security is informed of the beneficiary's death. The beneficiary is then removed from Medicare and any Social Security payments received end upon verification of the beneficiary's death.
Contact the Social Security Administration immediately by phone or in person. Provide verification of the deceased's death. In many cases, the funeral home that handles the burial arrangements reports the beneficiary's death to the Social Security Administration. You must provide a certified copy of the death certificate.
Contact the deceased's financial institution, if the beneficiary's payments were made by direct deposit. Any funds deposited for or after the month of the beneficiary's death must be returned to the Social Security Administration. Social Security payments are paid a month behind; if a person dies in March, you must return any benefits received in April. Supplemental Security Income or SSI checks are payable in the month of the death. For example, a check received in April is for the month of April. Any SSI checks received in May must be returned to Social Security.
Do not cash any mailed checks that are received after the death. Return the check to the Social Security Administration by mail or in person immediately. Check your local phone book or access the Social Security Administration website for the address of the nearest Social Security Administration office.
- Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services: What is Medicare?
- Medicare: How do I Report the Death of a Beneficiary?
- Social Security Administration: A Guide For Representative Payees
- Social Security Administration: How Social Security Can Help You When A Family Member Dies
- Medicare: Get Your Medicare Questions Answered
Residing in Clarksville, Tenn., Patrice D. Wimbush has been writing since 2002, with her work appearing on various websites. Her areas of writing expertise are contract and criminal law. She holds a Master of Public Administration from Murray State University and a Master of Arts in communication from Austin Peay State University.