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BENEFITS


DEATH AND CONTINUING BENEFITS

WHEN A LACERA MEMBER DIES…

Certain benefits may be payable to a surviving spouse, registered domestic partner, or named beneficiary. This section outlines LACERA's procedures to ensure eligible beneficiaries receive all the benefits to which they are entitled.

A time of loss is a difficult and emotional period. We understand and are here to help survivors and beneficiaries. By law, a retiree’s monthly allowance ends in the month of death. The sooner LACERA is notified of the death, the sooner a benefit account in the survivor’s name can be established.

INITIATING THE DEATH BENEFIT PROCESS

Step 1: Notify LACERA of the member's death

  • Call 800-786-6464 to report the member's death as soon as possible. You will be required to submit the original death certificate.
    • LACERA will image the document and return it to you.
    • If the original is not available, LACERA will accept a certified copy of the original, stamped by the county clerk or equivalent official (depending on the jurisdiction). LACERA cannot accept a photocopy of the death certificate.
    • If you have the decedent's LACERA Survivor & Death Benefits Information Card, provide the information listed on the card when you notify LACERA of the death.

Step 2: LACERA researches the case

  • Upon notification of the member's death, LACERA will research the member's case to determine any applicable benefits and beneficiaries.

Step 3: Submit claim forms and other required documents

  • Within 10 working days after receiving notification of the death, LACERA will send you claim forms and requests for other documents. Required documents vary according to the specifics of the case.
  • Commonly required documents include:
    • Original certified marriage certificate or
    • Certificate of Registered Domestic Partnership
    • Original certified birth certificate(s)
  • Your social security number (or tax identification number) is also required before any benefits can be paid.
  • To pay benefits to a trust, LACERA must have the Employer Identification Number (EIN) issued to the trust by the IRS.

Step 4: Receiving your benefit payment*

  • Death benefit payments to eligible survivors generally begin one payroll cycle after LACERA has been notified of the member's death.
  • Death benefit payments to named beneficiaries generally begin 30 days from the date LACERA has received all required documents.
*Benefit processing time may vary according to when LACERA receives all required documents.

11/26/14