The Limited Death Master File (LDMF): More Records Coming Home to Roost

August 20, 2018

From the desk of Director of IT David Wiley:

The Death Master File (DMF) is a fundamental record of deaths across the United States that’s compiled by the Social Security Administration (SSA) and distributed via the National Technical Information Service (NTIS). The DMF is used for pension funds, financial and insurance professionals (as well as genealogists, medical researches and in other various fields). The NTIS distributed SSADMF is the primary means to verify deaths.

By now, it’s likely that you’ve heard of the changes made to the public Death Master File (DMF). On November 1, 2011, the DMF no longer contains protected state records, which translates to the loss of 4.2 million records, and addsapproximately 1 million fewer records annually. Bottom line, since this change, everyone has less access to the deaths on the DMF.

Following this change, the DMF became the Limited Access DMF. What does this mean? Well, the official definition of the Limited Access DMF is:

“The DMF product made available by NTIS which includes DMF with respect to any deceased individual at any time during the three-calendar-year period beginning on the date of the individual’s death. As used in this part, Limited Access DMF does not include an individual element of information (name, social security number, date of birth, or date of death) in the possession of a Person, whether certified, but obtained by such Person through a source independent of the Limited Access DMF. If a Person obtains, or a third party subsequently provides to such Person, death information (i.e., the name, social security account number, date of birth, or date of death) independently, such information in the possession of such Person is not part of the Limited Access DMF or subject to this part.” Source: CFR › Title 15 › Subtitle B › Chapter XI › Part 1110 › Subpart A › Section 1110.2

Everyone had to scramble to obtain new death sources to fill the gap left by this change. LifeStatus360 did just that (have you heard of Obit360?).

Positive Changes to the Limited Death Master File in 2019

The key term in the Limited Access DMF is “the three-calendar-year period beginning on the date of the individual’s death.” What does that mean for you, the institutions that need the information in the DMF for compliance, anti-fraud, anti-waste and anti-abuse programsas required by law?

More records are the answer, and SSA and NTIS have heard the call from industry professionals (Make sure to take a look at our previous article). Since April, close to 7 million records have been added to the Limited Access DMF (6,953,522 to be precise). In the month of August, 742,511 records have been added – the older records are coming home to roost, and we’ll have those available for our customers.

Contact LifeStatus360 for Enhanced Death Audit Results

As more and more records are becoming available on the Limited Access DMF, you can bet that LifeStatus360 will be at the forefront of delivering those results to our customers. We understand the importance of keeping your records accurate and up-to-date, which is why we are always working to bring new technology into our business model.

Stay tuned for more updates about the technology we’re integrating in 2019 to help fill the gaps left by the Limited Access DMF. Until then, take a look at our nextgen technology solution for finding missing participants and/or their beneficiaries: Pinpoint360.

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