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Whom the Beneficiary Must Notify

The Surviving beneficiaries need to notify two agencies:

California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS) or California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) 

LAUSD Benefits Administration or Independent Charter Benefits Administration

Each agency requires a certified copy of the death certificate, in addition to the deceased employee’s name, social security number, and employee number; whether the person was on an active teaching status, retired, disabled or a beneficiary under the option selection; date of death; and name, address and telephone number of a contact person.  It is recommended that the family request at least six certified copies of the death certificate.

A Beneficiary Information Questionnaire will be sent to the contact person within five days of the date CalSTRS receives notice of death.  The questionnaire serves as an official acknowledgement of receipt of notification.  When the completed questionnaire is returned to CalSTRS, it provides them with the most current information on the decedent’s family and estate.  The information is necessary to identify the eligible beneficiaries for various benefits.  Most applications for survivor benefits can be taken over the phone.  CalSTRS usually pays survivor benefits within 45 days of receiving the last required document.  However, payment can be delayed if documentation (such as a marriage license or death certificate) is not received in a timely manner, or because of the absence of a valid beneficiary designation form on file with a current beneficiary address.

Beneficiaries May Be Different

It’s important to note various agencies can only pay benefits to the last beneficiary designated by the employee.  These designations may be made at various times throughout the employee’s career and may be different for each benefit.  It is very important that employees take the time to review their beneficiary information so that it reflects their current wishes.


The California State Teachers Retirement System provides benefits in accordance with established procedures as designated on the member’s beneficiary statement.  These benefits could include a lump sum death benefit and either survivor benefits or retirement benefits, according to the circumstances.  A few certificated employees have been members of the California Public Employees Retirement System and may have remained in PERS when they became certificated.  This usually is when the employee’s first paid status with LAUSD was as a classified employee.  In that event, CalPERS should be the retirement system that is notified.  The processing for either system requires about three to five months. 

California State Teachers Retirement System (CalSTRS)

Claims Section, Member Services Division

POB 15275-MS 43, Sacramento, CA 95851-0275

(800) 228-5453  

California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS)

POB 94211, Sacramento, CA 94229-2711

(888) 225-7377

LAUSD Benefits Administration

This office needs to be contacted in order for beneficiaries to receive the proceeds of the $20,000 life insurance policy provided for each eligible District certificated employee who dies while in active status.  Additionally, if the deceased person was covered by an additional group life insurance policy through LAUSD, this office will initiate that process as well.

If the survivor wants to continue health insurance coverage as an individual, LAUSD can advise on COBRA Continuation Coverage.

LAUSD Benefits Administration

POB 513307, Los Angeles, CA 90051-0298

213/241-4262; fax 213/241-4247

In person: 333 S. Beaudry Ave. Los Angeles, CA 90017

LAUSD Payroll Services

When a certificated employee on active status dies, several actions are implemented.  Of particular concern to beneficiaries is that the law requires any warrant for salary due to the deceased employee, must be sent to the Office of the County Superintendent of Schools before distribution to the proper parties.  Once approved by the County, the check is returned to LAUSD for distribution to the employee’s designated beneficiary.  Also, if the decedent was an active employee, it is a good idea to check the voluntary payroll deductions section of their last salary warrant.  Any organizations for which a deduction is listed should be contacted, especially since it could be for insurance or 403b plans. 

Contact: LAUSD Payroll Services Salary Delivery Unit

(213) 241-2921

Los Angeles County Superintendent of Schools

9300 East Imperial Highway

Downey, CA 90242


Independent Charter Administration

If the deceased member was employed by an Independent Charter, not affiliated with LAUSD, their administration will need to be contacted. 

Social Security Administration

Most UTLA bargaining unit members do not pay into the Social Security System through their employer.  However, some employees may have earned qualifying credits either from previous jobs or second jobs.  Contact the Social Security Administration to determine eligibility for benefits: 800/772-1213.

Veterans Administration

If the deceased served in the U.S. Armed Forces, contact the Regional Office of the Veteran’s Administration

11000 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90024

(800) 827-1000

Contact The Credit Union

There are two credit unions that UTLA members commonly use.  They should be contacted to see if the decedent had any open accounts.

California Credit Union

420 N. Rosenell Terrance

Los Angeles, CA 90026-4996

(213) 484-0127 or (800) 334-8788

First Financial Federal Credit Union

POB 1110

West Covina, CA 91790

(800) 537-8491

UTLA Member Benefits

Active UTLA Members are automatically covered for the following benefits and should contact the below providers for more details.


(800) 238-1133

$5,000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment, Double benefit if occurs while on the job.


(650) 552-5278

$2,000 Death Benefit, $10,000 Accidental Death & Dismemberment, $50,000 AD&D occurs while on the job.


(800) 637-4636

$1,000 Complimentary Life Insurance, up to $5,000 in Accidental Death & Dismemberment (AD&D), $50,000 AD&D occurs on the job, $150,000 Life Insurance unlawful homicide while on job.

Pacific Educators 

(800) 722-3365

$1,000 Complimentary Accidental Death Insurance, if death is caused by accident.

If an active employee’s death was work related, contact:

UTLA’s Grievance Coordinator 

Carl Joseph

(213) 368-6234

Contact The UTLA Membership Office

Survivors can contact UTLA to review membership records to determine if any additional insurance providers should be contacted by the beneficiary. Please make sure to have the Members LAUSD or UTLA ID.

UTLA Membership Department

(213) 637-5200

Plan An Appropriate Remembrance

How teachers and support personnel are remembered varies widely from site to site and from person to person.  Some sites involve faculty, students, community, and the deceased’s family to plan appropriate memorials.  

All teachers and support staff members play a vital part in the development of students and deserve to be remembered.  An appropriate memorial not only honors the person, but it also provides an opportunity for those whose lives were touched to say goodbye.  Whether it’s a memorial service, a scholarship, tree, book, or some other item, it can be a learning experience teaching students valuable lessons about dealing with death and showing respect for the contributions people make in their lives. Survivors can contact UTLA to put a memorial notice in the United Teacher.

UTLA Communications Department

fax 213/487-3319

The above information can also be downloaded for an easy to access step-by-step guide: Preparing for the Unexpected

Any further questions can be directed to the UTLA Membership Department by calling (213) 637-5200 or emailing