What to Do When a NYSUT Member Dies
1 - Documents
Collect all relevant paper and documents. This includes will, insurance policies, annuities, deeds, statements of ownership (stocks, bonds, bank accounts, bills and loans, rent owed to landlords (including credit card debt).
Originals or copies of death certificates are needed for most agencies you need to notify, e.g. NYS Teachers Retirement System, Social Security, etc.
2 - Health coverage
Depending on the type of coverage that is offered through your employer or School District, you may be eligible to continue health insurance benefits for surviving family members for a period of time. The federal Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reduction Act (COBRA) offers the opportunity for temporary extension of group health coverage. The premium rates are usually higher than the group rates for a surviving spouse or dependent.
Under COBRA, the spouse or dependent child has the responsibility to notify the Employee Benefits Program or Coordinator within 60 days of the death of the retiree, divorce, legal separation, or a child losing dependent status. Notification
should be made to the Employee Benefits Coordinator of the local school district where the deceased worked or retired from. You may need to send a certified letter with a death certificate.
3 - Retirement Allowance
Return the last check received after the death of the retiree. The Retirement System will return to the beneficiary the prorated amount due for the days prior to the member’s death.
Send an original death certificate to the Teacher’s Retirement System, which will begin procedures to notify the beneficiary(ies) if the retiree had selected an option when he/she retired. Send information to the address below:
New York State Teacher’s Retirement System
10 Corporate Woods Drive
Albany, NY 12211-2395
To report a retiree’s death 1-800-356-3128 x 6140
4 - Reimbursements and Benefits
Medicare Part B
If the retiree and or spouse/domestic partner were Medicare eligible and paid for Medicare, Part B, the surviving spouse/domestic partner or estate would be eligible for the reimbursement up to the date of death of the retiree.
NYSUT Member Benefits Trust
NYSUT Members should contact the employer (local district) Employee Benefits Coordinator and inform them of the death. They will need to send a death certificate.
Member Benefits (Catastrophe Major Medical, Long-Term Care Insurance, Life Insurance, Disability Insurance)
NYSUT Member Benefits Trust offers numerous benefits for members. It is important to check with Member Benefits to determine if there are any plans that the deceased was enrolled in that need to be contacted for continuance of coverage. It may be necessary to contact the various plans by letter. You can contact Member Benefits at 1-800-626-8101.
If you want to discontinue receiving publications and/or information from NYSUT after the death of a loved one, you may contact NYSUT at
1-800-342-9810 and request to speak to someone in member records.
5 - Social Security Administration (Contact your local office)
Return the check received after the death of member. Social Security does not reimburse any part of the check. Only the spouse may apply for $255.00 toward burial from Social Security. They will need a death certificate.
6 - Veterans Administration (Contact your local office)
Reimbursement of up to $150.00 toward a purchased cemetery plot.
7 – NYSUT Social Services
Contact NYSUT Social Services for all your questions and concerns regarding any part of the process. They are very helpful in taking you through the steps of managing the paperwork but also provide support and guidance through the grief process. They can be contacted at 1-800-342-9810-6206