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Good Cause Defined

Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

1519. Good Cause Defined

1519.1 What does "good cause" mean?

"Good cause" means that you did not file the lump-sum death payment application within the time limit because of:

  1. Circumstances beyond your control, such as extended illness, communication difficulties, etc.;

  2. Incorrect or incomplete information given to you by us;

  3. Your efforts to get the evidence to support the claim, not realizing you could file the application within the time limit and submit the supporting evidence later; or

  4. Unusual or unavoidable circumstances that show that you could not reasonably be expected to have been aware of the need to file the application within a specified period.

1519.2 When is good cause NOT established?

Good cause is not established if:

  1. You were informed that an application for the lump-sum death payment had to be filed within the initial two-year period; and

  2. You did not file the application because of neglect, or because you did not then want to claim the lump-sum death payment.

Last Revised: March, 2001


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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration