Additional Employee Benefits Life Questions and Answers

Additional Employee Benefits Life Questions and Answers

Employee Benefits Life Q&A

Q.  How can I check the status of a death claim?

A.  To check the claim status for insurance provided through an employer, call a OneAmerica Claim Representative from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. ET at 1-800-553-3522. A message may be left after 5 p.m. ET, and you may expect your call to be returned by 10 a.m. ET the following business day.

Q. Does the beneficiary need to sign the claim form?

A. No, only the signature of employer’s authorized representative is required.

Q. If the insured person and an insured dependent passed away at the same time, are separate claim forms required?

A.  Yes, separate claim forms are required for each deceased person.

Q. If the cause of death is listed as “pending” on the death certificate, should the claim be filed?

A. Yes, we will correspond with the named beneficiary to obtain the final certified death certificate, which lists the cause and manner of death, once it becomes available. 

Q. If there is an error in the information on the certified death certificate, what actions should the beneficiary take to obtain a corrected certified death certificate?

A. Beneficiaries should contact the funeral director or the state public vital records/statistics office to obtain a corrected certified death certificate. The claim cannot be processed with an incorrect certified death certificate (e.g., incorrect Social Security Number, date of birth, etc.)

Q. The primary beneficiary passed away prior to the insured. What claim documents are needed?

A. A copy of the predeceased beneficiary’s certified death certificate will be required. The contingent beneficiary’s contact information should also be provided. If there is no designated contingent beneficiary, the contact information for the person filing the claim should be provided. OneAmerica will contact the appropriate party for additional information.

Q.  If the insured did not name a beneficiary, who is entitled to the benefit proceeds and what claim documentation must be filed?

A.  The policy and/or state law outlines how insurance proceeds can be paid in this situation. 

  • If state regulations allow, a small estate affidavit may be submitted in lieu of the certified copy of the Letters of Testamentary. Your legal counsel can assist you with this information.      
  • If state regulations do not allow small estate affidavits or if the claim proceeds exceed the amount permitted for state small estate affidavits, an estate must be opened. After the estate has been established, the following must be submitted to OneAmerica:
    • A copy of the certified letters of testamentary appointing the executor/administrator of the estate;
    • Tax Identification Number (EIN) for the estate (File Form W-9). Per the IRS, we are not permitted to use the insured’s Social Security Number; and
    • Proof an Estate financial institution account has been opened.  

Q. When a Trust is named as the beneficiary, what trust-related information will be needed?

A.  If the beneficiary is a trust, the trustee will need to submit the following documents to OneAmerica:

  • Copy of the complete trust document, with names of trustee successors, signatures, and amendments;
  • Trust Tax Identification Number (EIN) (Per the IRS, we are not permitted to use the insured’s Social Security Number) – File Form W-9;
  • For Testamentary Trusts, we require:
    • A copy of the probated will; 
    • Letters of Testamentary appointing the executor; and
    • Proof a Trust financial institution account has been opened.  

Q.  The beneficiary had Power of Attorney (POA) for the deceased. Is this still valid and can the POA obtain policy or claim information?

A. The POA ceases at the time of death. OneAmerica can only release information following the death of an insured person if you are the beneficiary or their legal representative.  

Q.  If the whereabouts of a designated beneficiary are unknown, what action should be taken?

A. The claim should be submitted with the best information available. We will evaluate the claim and may contact you for additional information, if necessary.

Q.  If the deceased insured had been approved for Waiver of Premium under the Life policy due to disability, should a death claim form be completed and submitted?

A. Yes, a completed death claim form needs to be submitted.

Minor Beneficiaries

Q.  When the beneficiary is a minor, what additional information must be submitted?

A. Copy of the certified letters of guardianship for the minor’s estate, the minor’s Social Security Number and Minor Beneficiary Questionnaire Packet.

If the beneficiary is a minor and the insured names a custodian for the minor under the Uniform Transfers or the Uniform Gifts to Minors Acts (UTMA or UGMA), as permitted under state law, we will  pay the proceeds under the UTMA for an eligible claim upon receipt of:

  • UTMA financial institution account statement showing an account has been opened in the name of the minor’s custodian;
  • Copy of the minor’s birth certificate; and
  • IRS form W-9 listing the guardianship of the minor’s estate Tax Identification Number; or
  • The minor’s Social Security Number.

Accidental or Unnatural Death

Q.  When the insured employee or covered dependent passes away due to accidental or unnatural causes, what additional information is commonly required to complete processing of the claim?

A. The following information will be needed:

  • Newspaper accounts;
  • Medical examiner autopsy and reports;
  • Police reports; and
  • Toxicology reports

Q. Is there a filing limitation/requirement for an accidental or unnatural deaths?

A. Yes, most policies have a timely filing requirement for accidental or unnatural deaths which identifies the:

  • Amount of time in which the claim must be filed;
  • Timeframe in which the loss must be incurred, and
  • Timeframe for filing the claim.

Accelerated Life Benefit

Q.  How do I request an Accelerated Death Benefit, if this option is provided in my policy?

A.  Please complete and submit the Accelerated Death Benefit Claim form.

Funeral Homes

Q.  Does OneAmerica® accept Funeral Home and Cemetery assignments?

A. As a service to our customers, OneAmerica accepts Funeral Home and Cemetery assignments. The assignment must contain the following information:

  • the insured’s name,
  • insurance policy number
  • assigned amount  
  • beneficiary’s signature
  • notary seal, signature and date

Please Note: OneAmerica is prohibited from releasing information to a funeral home prior to the receipt and review of the claim and assignment. This includes coverage amounts and the names of beneficiaries.

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