What to do in case of death in the Foreign Service?

 
 
Family members are often unfamiliar with offices and functions in Foreign Service agencies, so here are some steps to help families in the event of the death of their Foreign Service loved one.
 
1. Notify the Department of State’s Human Resources Service Center (HRSC) in Charleston, S.C. during regular office hours at 866-300-7419 (toll free), 843-308-5539 (from outside the U.S.), or HRSC@state.gov. HRSC will ask the survivor to provide documentation, including a Foreign Service
death benefits claim form and a certified copy of the death certificate.
HRSC will take the following steps:
— Immediately terminate the deceased person’s annuity.
— Initiate a survivor annuity within 45 days of receiving required
documentation (complicated cases can take up to three months).
— Continue Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) for eligible survivors.
 
2. File a claim for Federal Employees Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) benefits, if applicable, after HRSC notifies the Office of Personnel Management of the death. OPM will send the designated beneficiary a claim form and instructions. Required documentation includes a certified copy of the death certificate.
 
3. File a claim for Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) benefits, if applicable, by calling 877-968-3778. Press 3 from the main menu and hold to speak to a TSP Service Representative. You will need to submit a TSP-17 form and a certified copy of the death certificate.
 
4. Notify the Social Security Administration by authorizing the funeral home to do so or by calling SSA at 800-772-1213. SSA will determine if benefits are due.
 
5. If you are a surviving spouse with a Federal Long-Term Insurance Program (FLTCIP) whose premiums were deducted from the Foreign Service retiree’s annuity, then call the BENEFEDS Customer Service Center at 877-888-3337 to arrange for premiums to be deducted from your survivor annuity.
 
6. If you are a surviving spouse with dental and/or vision insurance coverage under the Foreign Service retiree’s Federal Employees Dental and Vision Insurance Program (FEDVIP) policy, then call the BENEFEDS at 877-888-3337 to arrange for premiums to be deducted from your survivor annuity.
 
7. If you wish to place an obituary in the Foreign Service Journal, notify AFSA at member@afsa.org or 202-338-4045. AFSA can explain how to do it. A Retirement Benefits Counselor is available to answer questions about the processes described above. Surviving spouses are encouraged to join AFSA to benefit from ongoing help in dealing with Washington offices on benefits questions and other issues as they arise