Death of an Employee

If you have made it to this page as the result of a death of a family member, coworker or subordinate, we first want to extend our sincerest condolences. We recognize that you are looking for information fast and easy and may want to get it yourself or just talk to someone.  This site is designed to fulfill those expectations. 

Information for Families

Death benefits or entitlements for the survivors or beneficiaries of a Federal employee depend on several factors, including the employee’s coverage in a Federal retirement plan (i.e., the Civil Service Retirement System (CSRS), CSRS Offset, or the Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS)); the Federal Employees Health Benefits (FEHB) Program; the Federal Employees’ Group Life Insurance (FEGLI) Program; the Thrift Savings Plan.  The family will be provided guidance and information as they navigate this process.  Note that forms need to be completed and documentation provided to file for benefits such as marriage, divorce certificates and minor children’s birth certificates.  We recommend that you request 8-10 Death Certificate copies when working with your local officials as 1 separate copy is needed per program, such as death benefits, FEGLI, etc.

Step 1 – Contact FWS to Initiate Awareness with Supervisor & HR

  • Contact the employee's Supervisor and Human Resources via
  • HR Benefits Specialist & Representative from Employee’s Work Unit will call you and be assigned to assist you throughout this process.


Step 2 - Family Should Request the Following information from HR

Request the Following information from HR
  • Request Employee Express Benefits Statement

  • Ask who is on the Beneficiaries Statement?
  • Ask how will Final Pay be issued? 
  • Ask if the deceased employee is eligible for SAMBA (SAMBA is a not-for-profit federal employee benefit association protecting federal employees, annuitants, and their families)?
    • If your family member was enrolled in SAMBA, then you can contact a SAMBA representative at 1-800-638-6589, option 2 or go to the Samba Website.
Other Considerations
  • There will be unpaid compensation from earnings to lump sum for annual leave if your family member had a leave balance.  If they filed a designation of beneficiary, the payment will be executed by the Interior Business Center according to that and if not by legal order of precedence. 

  • TSP - If the deceased employee had a Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) Account, the death will be reported to the TSP. For more information, go to
  • The death also gets reported to the Social Security Office, usually by the funeral director. For more information, go to
  • Life Insurance
  • Health Insurance ​​​​​

Step 3 - Family will need to provide documentation (to establish benefits eligibility)

  • Provide Death Certificate (when working with your local officials, make sure you request 8-10 copies of Death Certificate, provide 1 copy to HR for each entitlement program, (FEGLI, payroll, FERS)
  • Obtain marriage and divorce certificates for HR regarding entitlements for benefits, birth certificates for minor children.
  • Feel free to check with your Point of Contact in FWS Human Resources every 15-30 days to ensure things are progressing and to highlight any questions you might have.
    • Note: During this time you may be contacted by HR personnel beyond just your primary HR point of contact and please respond to these requests. 
  • If you have reached out and have not heard back within 24 hours, please send a message to


Please note that death benefits or entitlements for the survivors or beneficiaries of a Federal employee will be submitted by FWS through the DOI Interior Business Center to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) for final processing and disposition. Timelines will vary on case-by-case basis depending on the complexity of the individual situation and availability of required documentation.