Death of an Employee or Family Member

In the event an employee or an employee’s family member dies, contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 as soon as possible for assistance with applicable benefits and claim filing.

Please remember that there are grief support and counseling resources available to you and your family through the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program through Carebridge.

When an employee dies, the following benefits are available:

  • Family members who were covered in the University’s medical, dental, or vision plans may continue coverage through COBRA for up to 36 months. The premium will be waived for the first 90 days.  Enrollment information will be sent by the COBRA administrator.  Family members have 60 days to enroll and coverage will be retroactive to the date coverage under the active plan ended (the date of death).
  • Your survivors may continue to submit health care and/or dependent care flexible spending account claims for expenses incurred prior to the employee’s death.  Claims may be submitted until April 30 of the year following the calendar year in which the death occurred.  Continuation of the health care FSA may be available to allow expenses incurred after the date of death to be reimbursed, with contributions made on an after-tax basis.
  • Basic and supplemental life insurance (and AD&D, if applicable) benefits will be paid to the named beneficiary on file.  If no beneficiary is on file, the policy will determine who should receive the benefits.
  • Retirement account balances are eligible to be paid to the surviving spouse, to the named beneficiary on file, or to the estate.
  • A child who is matriculated and receiving dependent tuition benefits at the time of the employee’s death will continue to be eligible for benefits under the policy.  A dependent of an employee who completed at least seven years of service will continue to be eligible for future benefits under the policy if they are not matriculated at the time of the employee’s death.
  • Remitted tuition credits that were transferred to a spouse or same-sex domestic partner will be prorated according to the date of death for the last year of employment.
  • Family members continue to be eligible to use the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program through Carebridge for 90 days.
  • Family members should provide any updated address or contact information to HR Shared Services to ensure that final pay, year-end tax forms, or other notices will be received.

When an employee’s family member dies, consider the following:

  • Remember that the Faculty and Staff Assistance Program through Carebridge is available to provide grief counseling and other support.
  • If the family member was covered by spouse/partner or child life insurance, contact HR Shared Services for assistance with filing a claim.  The employee is automatically the beneficiary.
  • Contact HR Shared Services to make appropriate adjustments to health coverage.
  • Consider whether this death changes the employee’s or dependents’ need for benefits.  You have 31 days from the date of death to enroll/change enrollment in medical, dental/vision, flexible spending account, life or disability coverage.  If you do not contact HR Shared Services to request changes within 31 days, you must wait for the next annual enrollment period.
  • Review and update any beneficiary designations for life insurance or retirement accounts.
  • Update your name, address, emergency contact, and payroll tax withholding, as needed.
    • By logging into MySlice, you can update your address, phone number, email, and emergency contact in the Personal Services section.
    • While in MySlice, you can also update your federal and state tax withholding status in the Employee Services – Tax Withholding Information section.
    • You can add a Preferred Name, which will display in many University software systems, including as your email display name. To change your name in University records, you must provide a copy of your new Social Security Card issued in your new name and submit a completed Name Change Form [PDF] to HR Shared Services.

Contact HR Shared Services at 315.443.4042 for additional assistance.

Every effort has been made to ensure that the information contained within this website is accurate. However, benefits are governed by legal documents (which, in certain circumstances, may include insurance contracts). If there is any difference between the information in this website and the official documents, the official documents will control. As is the case with all of Syracuse University’s employee benefit plans, the University reserves the right to modify or terminate these benefits at any time.