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Death of a Claimant
Last amended: 6 September 2011
Effect of death on a claim
Where a formal claim for pension has been lodged before the death of a claimant this does not affect the obligation of the Commission to determine the claim. The claim should be investigated as far as possible under the circumstances and a decision made in accordance with normal procedures.
Who to notify of the determination of a deceased person's claim
Upon the death of a claimant, a copy of the will should be obtained in order to:
- establish who is the legal personal representative, or
- in specific circumstances, have a person approved by the Commission as the claimant's authorised representative.
These circumstances include where no legal representative exists, or the legal personal representative is not actively pursuing the claimant's entitlements.
The executor of the claimant's estate may be regarded as their legal personal representative, as they are empowered to finalise all matters following the person's death. A personal legal representative may also be separately identified in the will.
The legal personal representative is required for the purpose of:
- notification of the decision,
- possible bereavement payment,
- possible arrears payment, and
- right of review.
Effect of death on an initial claim
Where a person lodges an initial claim for pension and dies before the proper claim is lodged, the legal personal representative or such other person as the Commission approves, may lodge the proper claim.
It is not sufficient that the person lodging the claim was the claimant's power of attorney while they were alive. This is because power of attorney arrangements cease on the death of the claimant. The legal personal representative must be established by obtaining a copy of the claimant's will.