Life Events

Death of Participant

The passing of a loved one is perhaps the most painful event in life. No one should have to grieve alone. At this time of a loss it is important to surround yourself with your personal support group who can help console and counsel you at this time. Your personal support group includes family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, and your religious community. In some cases you may also wish to seek the guidance of a professional counselor. In coming to terms with your loss, you will take some time to recollect your loved one. You can appreciate the blessings which their presence brought to your life, even if the time they could stay with you seems to have ended too soon.

"Nothing is so strong as gentleness and
nothing is so gentle as real strength"
--Ralph W. Sockman

With the support of your friends and family you will be able to gather the strength to complete the necessary details which must be faced by the survivors. There is much to do; the linked check list may give you a starting point from which to work. It is advisable that the tasks be divided up, if possible, between loved ones. In this manner, the necessary steps can be completed, and no one person bears the entire burden. It is natural and normal that the pain and grief of the survivors will take some time to heal. Make full use of your personal support network.

Plan Checklist

  • In the event of the death of a participant, the Plan Office should be notified. Staff at the Plan Office are ready to help as much as possible, and to make sure the survivors understand the benefits, obtain the necessary forms and know how to submit the required documentation.
  • If you are the participant and are planning for what must come, the following plan issues will be pertinent. You will want to make sure that your beneficiaries have been properly designated for Plan benefits using the Designation of Beneficiary form.
  • Plan benefits for covered participants which go into effect at death include: a death benefit of $10,000 ($5,000 for Senior Performers) -- see the Life and AD&D BenefitTab -- and various extended Health Plan coverages for surviving spouse and dependents. Pension benefits may be available for the beneficiaries of a participant who dies before retirement (See the Pre-Retirement Death BenefitTab).
  • If the participant was already retired before death, benefits to the beneficiary will depend upon the form in which the pension had been taken (See Forms of Pension Payment in the Online Summary Plan Booklet).
  • Extended Health Plan coverage for surviving spouses may be available to you. Information can be found here.

Also Consider...

External Links

  • Hospice Net

    Articles on grief, bereavement, death and dying. Hospice nurses and professionals provide email support.

  • Bereavement Support Groups

    Online grief support groups and bereavement forum for coping with loss & death of a loved one.

  • About.com Death and Dying

    About.com resources for palliative care, hospice, and end-of-life issues.