What to do when a spouse/domestic partner dies

  1. Things You Should Have

    1. Collect all relevant papers and documents. This includes wills, insurance policies, annuities, deeds, statements of ownership, bills and loans.
    2. Originals or copies of death certificates are needed for most agencies you need to notify; e.g. NYC Teachers’ Retirement System if your spouse was a beneficiary, Social Security, etc.

    Then send an original death certificate to the Teachers’ Retirement System:

    NYC Teachers’ Retirement System
    55 Water Street
    New York, NY 10041
    888-8NYCTRS (69-2877)

  2. Employee Benefits Program

    If the spouse/domestic partner dies, contact the Employee Benefits Program within 30 days of the event. Fill out an ERB form, which can be obtained by calling the number below, in order to drop your spouse/domestic partner from your health coverage, and send it to:

    NYC Employee Benefits Program
    40 Rector Street, 3rd Floor
    New York, NY 10006
    212-513-0470

  3. SHIP

    You should contact SHIP and receive refunds of balances of the Supplemental Health Insurance Plan (SHIP) premium. Write to:

    UFT SHIP
    52 Broadway, 17th Floor
    New York, NY 10004
    212-228-9060

  4. NYSUT – Catastrophe

    Contact Catastrophe Insurance in order to drop your spouse/domestic partner. Contact NYSUT Catastrophe at 888-386-9788 or

    Mercer Consumer
    P.O. Box 9186
    Des Moines, IA 50306-9186

  5. Social Security Administration

    (Contact your local office)

    1. Return the check received after the death of the spouse. Social Security does not reimburse any part of the check.
    2. You may apply for $255 toward burial from Social Security.
    3. Send a death certificate.
  6. Veterans Administration (If applicable)

    1. Reimbursement of up to $150 toward a purchased cemetery plot.
    2. All other veteran’s benefits the member may have been entitled to.
  7. UFT-RTC

    For additional information contact:

    UFT-RTC Pension Department
    52 Broadway – 17th floor
    New York, NY 10004
    212-598-9536

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