R 241420Z NOV 78
FR US SOC SEC ADM DIV OF INTER OPER BALTO MD
TO RUESON/AM EM GEORGETOWN
INFO DEPARTMENT OF STATE
SUBJECT – SOCIAL SECURITY CHECKS – PEOPLE’S TEMPLE
To assist the Social Security Administration (SSA) in expediting the processing of Social Security claims based on the recent deaths of the American citizens in Guyana, the Embassy is requested to airmail an agency copy of each Optional Form 180, Report of Death of an American Citizen, to the following special Post Office Box address: SSA Division of International Operations, PO Box [number illegible], Baltimore, Maryland 20207.
Forms 180 are requested on all decedents, whether or not Embassy records show that the decedent had a Social Security number or was a recipient of Social Security benefits.
Per our telegram dated November 20, 1978, the next shipment of Social Security checks for beneficiaries at the Peoples Temple compound, which will be dated December 1, 1978, should be held by the Embassy and delivered only after the beneficiary has been identified. In such cases, if the beneficiary wishes his next check dated Jan 3, 1979, to be mailed to an address in the United States, the Embassy may notify SSA by telegram as explained in 7 Foreign Affairs Manual 241, 7-5, and the change of address will be expedited. The telegram should give the name of the beneficiary, the Social Security claim number, and the new address to which the January 3, 1979, check should be mailed. This would avoid delays in receipt of the next check.
Also per our telegram of November 20, 1978, if the Embassy notified SSA then beneficiary is deceased or his whereabouts is unknown, the checks for that beneficiary will be stopped. If it would assist the Embassy, SSA would be agreeable to suspending all January 3, 1979, and subsequent payments to those beneficiaries who lived at the People’s Temple compound who do not come forth for the December 1, 1978 check. If you wish all such payments to be suspended, please wire the name and claim number of the beneficiaries in question and request suspension of payments “Whereabouts Unknown.” In the absence of an Embassy request, the checks dated January 3, 1979, will be issued and sent to the Embassy for delivery after identification, as with the December 1, 1978, checks. This message has been cleared with the offices of Special Consular Services.