The child was born in December 2016. Her father, the NH, died in January 2018. The
child’s mother filed an application on the child’s behalf in September 2018. As a
survivor, the child is eligible for up to 6 months of retroactive benefits. Therefore,
if the child meets entitlement requirements, the child can be entitled to benefits
as early as March 2018 based on a September 2018 filing date. We are adjudicating
the claim in October 2018.
First, we look at the version of State law in effect when adjudicating the claim.
That version is an inheritance rights provision operating prospectively that was effective
in August 2018. The child can qualify under this provision, with a first month of
entitlement of August 2018. Since this version does not allow us to pay benefits retroactive
to March 2018, we must determine whether there is a more beneficial version of State
law that would enable an earlier entitlement date. The child cannot meet the standard
of proof in the version of law in effect at the time of the NH's death, and there
were no subsequent changes in the law until August 2018. Therefore, the child cannot
be entitled before August 2018.