TN 16 (09-11)
GN 00304.070 Homicide by Child
A. Operating policy for homicide by child
1. Child tried as an adult
If the court convicted the child of the intentional and felonious homicide of the number holder (NH), consider the child non-existent in determining the entitlement or benefit amounts of other survivors.
If the child's offense is not intentional and felonious, we will pay the lump sum death payment (LSDP), and pay or continue benefits.
2. Child is or was under jurisdiction of juvenile court
To consider the child convicted of killing the NH, the court of competent jurisdiction must find that the child killed the NH.
a. Child is not entitled to benefits or the LSDP
If the court finding equates the child's act with a crime (e.g., first-degree murder) (based on Classification of Homicide in GN 00304.065 or a precedent opinion) known to be intentional and felonious homicide if committed by an adult, the child is not entitled to benefits or the LSDP. Consider the child nonexistent in determining the entitlement or benefit amounts of other survivors.
b. Child may be entitled to benefits or the LSDP
If the court finding clearly indicates the child's act (killing the NH) was not intentional or not considered a felony if committed by an adult, the child may be entitled to benefits or the LSDP.
B. Procedure for gathering information on a convicted child
1. Source of information
Obtain information as to whether the child was convicted of killing the NH by a court of competent jurisdiction from:
Obtain a copy of the actual finding of the court or an official synopsis of the finding, if possible.
If the court records are sealed and no reliable information about the court’s finding is unobtainable, no further development is necessary. Pay benefits unless we later obtain information indicating that the court found the child to have intentionally killed the NH.
Document the SSA-553 (Special Determination) with the rationale for any situation not submitted to the regional chief counsel (RCC).
3. Submittals to regional chief counsel (RCC)
If the court finding does not clearly show whether the child's act was intentional and was an act that would be a felony if committed by an adult, submit the case to the RCC. Advise the attorney that we realize the child's offense is not actually a felony, but we need to know if it would be considered intentional and felonious if committed by an adult.
NOTE: As long as legal considerations are not involved, determine whether the act was intentional, rather than submitting the case to the RCC if intent is the only unresolved issue.