TN 4 (12-13)

GN 00210.600 Same-Sex Marriage - Lump Sum Death Payment (LSDP)

A. Introduction to LSDP claims involving same-sex marriage

Because of the Windsor court decision, we are now able to process some LSDP claims and appeals involving ceremonial same-sex marriages. These instructions include procedures for approving, denying, or holding claims and appeals for benefits based on a ceremonial same-sex marriage.

B. Instructions for processing LSDP claims involving same-sex marriage

This section provides instructions for processing some claims for a lump sum death payment involving a same-sex ceremonial marriage. Follow the instructions in GN 00210.005 to hold LSDP claims that we cannot process using the instructions in this section.

In addition to meeting the criteria set out in these instructions, claimants must meet all other general eligibility requirements as outlined in RS 00210.001 through RS 00210.050, if the claim does not meet these criteria hold the claim. For example:

  • If the applicant was not living in the same household (LISH), hold the claim as set out in GN 00210.005.

  • If the applicant files a new LSDP claim more than two years after the numberholder’s (NH) death, hold the claim as set out in GN 00210.005.

CAUTION: If we hold a claim, do not pay someone lower in the order of priority.

1. Confirm the validity of the marriage

a. Ceremonial marriage occurred in the United States (U.S.)

If the ceremonial marriage occurred in the U.S. (including the 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, and the Northern Mariana Islands), determine whether the couple entered a same-sex marriage after the date the issuing state permitted same-sex marriage using instructions in GN 00210.100B.1.

  • If the couple entered a same-sex marriage after the date the issuing state permitted same-sex marriage, determine the NH’s domicile following instructions in GN 00210.600B.2. in this section.

  • If the couple did not enter a same-sex marriage after the date the issuing state permitted same-sex marriage, hold the claim using instructions in GN 00210.005.

b. Ceremonial marriage occurred outside the U.S. (foreign marriage)

If the ceremonial marriage occurred outside the U.S., request a legal opinion following instructions in GN 00210.006. Process in accordance with the opinion following procedures described in GN 00210.600C (for approvals) or GN 00210.600D (for denials) in this section.

2. Confirm domicile of the deceased number holder (DNH)

Determine the DNH’s domicile at the time the he or she died by using the instructions in GN 00305.001A.2. For a list of states that recognize same-sex marriage, use the instructions in GN 00210.100.

  • If the NH was domiciled at the time of his or her death in a state that recognizes same-sex marriage, allow the claim, following the instructions in GN 00210.400C.

  • If the NH was domiciled, at the time of his or her death, in a state that does not recognize same-sex marriage, hold the claim following instruction in GN 00210.005. For examples of cases to hold, see GN 00210.600E.2. in this section.

  • If the DNH was domiciled at the time of his or her death outside the United States, refer the claim for a Regional Chief Counsel (RCC) opinion following the instructions in GN 01010.815. Process in accordance with the opinion following procedures described in GN 00210.600C (for approvals) or GN 00210.600D (for denials) in this section.

C. Procedure to approve the LSDP claim

When the claim meets all entitlement factors listed in RS 00210.001 and described above, follow the steps below to approve the claim.

1. In the field office (FO) and workload support unit (WSU)

  • Take the claim in the Modernized Claims System (MCS).

  • Enter “626M” in the first four positions of the unit field on the DW01 screen.

  • Add Listing Code “626” on the DECI screen.

  • Process the claim using an A101/EF101 and annotate “626 Case” on the BCRN/EFBCRN screen.

    NOTE: The claim will not process through earnings computation (EC) in MCS, and you will receive this edit “SPOUSE SEX EQUALS NH SEX.”

  • Enter a “Y” in the Critical Case field on the Account Data (ACCT) screen of the A101/EF101.

    NOTE: For disabled widows, who might be eligible for Medicare see RS 00207.020. For HI/SMI enrollment entries, see SM 00385.445.

  • Monitor the case to ensure it processes to completion.

If the case has not been processed within 15 days, the FO manager should use the Manager to Manager program to follow-up with the corresponding PSC manager. The FO manager should identify the claim as a critical case request (PR Problem) and annotate Windsor Case” in the Description of Problem section in Manager to Manager. For instructions on the Manager-to-Manager web application and establishing follow-up dates, see GN 01070.228A.5. and GN 02606.150.

2. In the processing center (PSC)

Route the A101/EF101 to the BA for review (following established local procedures for routing). Establish a PCACS listing code “626.”

If there are no discrepancies or issues, the benefit authorizer (BA):

  • propagates the A101/EF101 into MACADE,

  • processes the claim, and

  • sends a notice.

If there are discrepancies or issues:

  • the BA routes the claim to the claims authorizer (CA) for review and resolution,

  • the CA resolves the discrepancies or issues,

  • the CA routes the claim to the BA,

  • the BA propagates the A101/EF101 into MACADE,

  • the BA processes the claim, and

  • sends a notice.

D. Procedures to deny LSDP claim to alleged same-sex spouse where the ORCC has issued an opinion stating the foreign same-sex ceremonial marriage was not valid

NOTE: At present, deny only claims by alleged same-sex spouses where the ORCC has issued an opinion stating that there was not a valid foreign marriage.

1. Procedure in the FO or WSU

  • Take the claim in MCS.

  • Enter “626M” in the first four positions of the unit field on the DW01 screen.

  • Add Listing Code “626” and enter 02 (RSHI DISAL) in the DEC STAT field on the DECI screen.

  • Enter the following disallowance code on the BECF screen: 49 Widow(er) or child relationship not established;

    NOTE: This is the only disallowance code based on relationship that is appropriate for denying a claim under this section.

    NOTE: The claim will not process through earnings computation (EC) in MCS, and you will receive this edit “SPOUSE SEX EQUALS NH SEX.”

  • Complete the SSACCS Update (1418) screen in MCS. (See MS MCS 012.005)

  • MANCLR the claim to your own field office.  

    IMPORTANT: DO NOT access the INTE screen.  Do NOT enter the "N" Proc Code or it will be stuck on the FO List.

  • Acquire a second review by a TE, MSS or equivalent to assure accuracy and document that the case was cleared for denial processing on the Report of Contact screen.

  • Exit MCS and enter MACADE (#10 On the SSA Main Menu).

  • Enter the SSN and select #5=Disallowance on the MADCAP Data Entry System Menu in MACADE. For coding instructions, see SM 00380.508 and SM 00380.515.

    NOTE: The BIC code entered must be a code that corresponds to the gender of the spouse, e.g., use BIC G.

  • Enter “5=trans-SSN”, to transmit the case for MACADE batching.

  • Use Document Processing System (DPS) to send the appropriate manual denial notice and save the notice in Online Retrieval System (ORS).

  • Monitor the case to ensure the process is complete, once the MBR updates.

2. Procedure in the PSC

PSC technicians should follow local procedures to process any MACADE or DUMAS exceptions generated from the FO’s/WSUs MACADE Disallowance input and verify that the DPS disallowance notice is in ORS. Refer the case to a CA for Aurora notice instructions if the notice is not present and send the notice.

E. Examples of claims to process or hold

1. Examples of claims to process

The following are examples of claims that you can adjudicate under the rules in this section:

  • Nancy and Jean Marie marry in Massachusetts (MA) after MA recognizes same-sex marriage. Jean Marie is domiciled in MA when she dies. Nancy files for the LSDP on Jean Marie’s record. They meet all other factors of entitlement. Allow the claim because Jean Marie died domiciled in a state that recognized her marriage.

  • Dee Dee and Joanne marry in MA after MA recognizes same-sex marriage. Joanne is domiciled in MA when she dies. Dee Dee moves and becomes domiciled in Texas (TX). Dee Dee files for the LSDP on Joanne’s record while domiciled in TX. They meet all other factors of entitlement. Allow the claim because Joanne died domiciled in a state that recognized her marriage.

  • Erik and Bob marry in Canada after Canada permits same-sex marriage. They move to New York (NY) and Bob is domiciled there when he dies. Erik files for LSDP on Bob’s record. The ORCC issues a legal opinion determining that New York would recognize the foreign marriage as valid. They meet all other factors of entitlement. Allow the claim because Bob died domiciled in a state that recognized his foreign marriage.

2. Example of claim to hold

Justin and Harry marry in MA after MA recognizes same-sex marriage. Harry is domiciled in Texas when he dies. After Harry’s death, Justin files for the LSDP on Harry’s record. They meet all other factors of entitlement. Hold the claim because TX (where Harry was domiciled at time of death) is not a state that recognizes same-sex marriage.

3. Example of claim to deny

Kristie and Jessica allege that they married in England. Kristie is domiciled in MA when she dies. After Kristie’s death, Jessica files for the LSDP on Kristie’s record. They meet all other factors of entitlement. The legal opinion about the foreign marriage states that MA would not recognize the marriage from England, because, at the time they alleged to have been married, England did not permit same-sex marriage. Deny the claim. Develop for the next person(s) in order of priority.

F. References

  • DI 11025.020 Disability Determination Needed to Establish Entitlement to Lump-Sum Death Payment

  • GN 00210.005 Holding Claims, Appeals, and Post-Entitlement Actions Involving Same-Sex Marriages or Legal Same-Sex Relationships other than Marriage

  • GN 00210.100 Same-Sex Marriage - Benefits for Aged Spouses

  • GN 00305.020 Preferred Proof of Ceremonial Marriage

  • GN 00305.025 Secondary Proof of Ceremonial Marriage

  • GN 00305.001 Determining Family Status

  • GN 01010.815 Request for Legal Opinion

  • GN 01070.228 Modes of Requesting Assistance

  • GN 02606.150 Establishing Followup Dates

  • RS 00207.004 Widow(er)'s Benefits - Table of Proofs and Development - Policy

  • RS 00210.001 Field Office (FO) and Program Service Center (PSC) Requirements and Definitions of Lump-Sum Death Payment (LSDP)

  • RS 00210.010 Payment of the Lump-Sum Death Payment (LSDP)

  • RS 00210.035 LSDP for a Surviving Spouse Living in the Same Household (LISH)

  • RS 00210.020 When the LSDP is not payable

  • SM 00380.040 Non-Disability Disallowance, Abatement, and Withdrawal Codes – Exhibit

  • SM 00380.508 Entering an Initial Disallowance

  • SM 00380.515 How to Complete the Account Data (ACT) Screen


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200210600
GN 00210.600 - Same-Sex Marriage - Lump Sum Death Payment (LSDP) - 12/31/2013
Batch run: 12/31/2013
Rev:12/31/2013