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Federal Government Benefits

Please provide this information to anyone interested in information about what to do after the death of a federal employee, retiree, or survivor. If you or they have any questions, feel free to call the U.S. Office of Personnel Management at (202) 606-0500.

The following information is provided to assist survivors of federal employees or former federal employees about:

  • Potential death benefits payable under the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS) or the Federal Employees’ Retirement System (FERS).
  • Who to contact to report the death.
  • What to do with retirement payments received after death.

To help make a decision on where to apply for death benefits, use the following table:

Decision Factor
  • the deceased was currently employed by the federal government
  • contact the agency where the deceased was employed. NFDA can provide the address and telephone number of any federal agency.
  • the deceased was a federal retiree who was receiving or had applied to receive a CSRS or FERS benefit


  • the deceased was a former employee but was not eligible to receive a CSRS or FERS benefit


  • the deceased was the spouse or child of a former federal employee and receiving a survivor benefit from the CSRS or FERS
  • call the Office of Personnel Management at (202) 606-0500. Someone is available to answer questions at this number from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. EST. Recorded reports of death may be left at this number 24 hours a day


  • Write to the Office of Personnel Management, Retirement Operations Center, PO Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017-0001


  • Fax a copy of the death certificate with a cover sheet providing: name of the deceased, retirement number, date of birth, social security number, name of survivor and address to send application forms to (412) 794-1263.

Survivor Benefits

If the deceased was a current government employee, the deceased’s employing agency will provide assistance and application forms. If the deceased was a former government employee, the Office of Personnel Management will provide application forms and assistance, determine whether any benefits are payable to survivors and make payments to eligible beneficiaries.

Life Insurance Claims

If the deceased was insured under the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance Program, notify U.S. Office of Personnel Management, PO Box 45, Boyers, PA 16017. The Office of Personnel Management will supply the proper claim form. The claim form should be filed with the Office of Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance, 4 East 24th Street, New York, NY 10010.

Annuity Checks

Return any uncashed retirement checks payable to the deceased to:
Director, Disbursing Center
U.S. Treasury Department
PO Box 8670
Chicago, IL 60680
Such checks are not legally negotiable.

If retirement checks are received dated after the payee’s date of death, and are cashed or deposited in the deceased payee’s bank account, the Treasury Department will recover the amount of the checks from the bank or other financial institution. The financial institution will, in turn, recover from the negotiator of the check(s). All money due the retiree at the date of death will be paid to the eligible survivors.

Direct Deposit Payments

Direct deposit payments made to a decedent’s account should not be removed from the account. Please notify the financial institution of the death and whether any payments have been withdrawn.

In all cases in which funds have been placed in an account, let Treasury recovery action take place. Do not attempt to make direct repayment by personal check or money order. Such action could result in the monies involved being collected twice. If the Treasury recovery action does not recover all funds paid after death, the negotiator of the check(s) or the estate will be billed for any remaining overpayment amount.