TN 26 (12-98)

GN 00306.105 Written Acknowledgment

A. Policy

1. Content of Statement

The writing does not have to be in any special form. However, it must identify the child by name or otherwise, (e.g., by BIC), and must acknowledge or identify the child as the NH's son or daughter.

EXAMPLES:An application for Social Security benefits filed by the NH listing the child as his/hers, or an income tax return listing the child as his/hers, is a written acknowledgment.

REFERENCE:See SSR 66-47.

2. Acknowledgment of Unborn Child

A NH can effectively acknowledge a child who has been conceived but not yet born.

3. Prepared at NH's Direction

The document does not need to be in the NH's own handwriting or signed by him /her, as long as it is a written record prepared at his/her direction.

NON-EXAMPLE:A telephone interview by a welfare worker, even if recorded, would not ordinarily constitute written acknowledgment, since the NH was probably unaware that the acknowledgment was being recorded.

4. No Document Exists

If the acknowledgment no longer exists or cannot be obtained, the requirements are met if clear and convincing evidence shows that the NH acknowledged the child in writing. Use caution in evaluating such evidence.

5. State Law Not Controlling

For written acknowledgment under section 216(h)(3), definitions or precedents as to what constitutes written acknowledgment under State laws on legitimation or inheritance rights are not controlling.

6. Information on Child's BC

See GN 00306.120 for use of information on a child's BC for written acknowledgment.

B. Procedure

1. GENERAL

Include in the file the written acknowledgment or a photocopy or true and exact copy in accordance with GN 00301.030 and GN 00301.090. If the acknowledgment is not signed, obtain evidence as to whether the NH prepared it. If the writing no longer exists (see
GN 00306.105A.4. above), document the file concerning the evidence of acknowledgment.

2. Income Tax Returns

If the NH listed the child as a dependent on a Federal return:

  1. Ask the claimant to request the tax return information from the Internal Revenue Service. SSA cannot obtain it due to IRS disclosure restrictions.

  2. If the IRS will not disclose the NH's Federal tax information, consider requesting State tax returns, unless the return is for one of the following States. In these States, either there is no State income tax or the State return does not show dependents' names:

ConnecticutSouth Dakota
FloridaTennessee
NevadaTexas
New HampshireVermont
North DakotaWashington
PennsylvaniaWyoming
Rhode Island 

3. MCS Screens

If the child was listed as the NH's child on an MCS screen, and you do not have access to the signed application to use for written acknowledgment, follow this procedure:

  1. Access APPL screen.

  2. Does APPL screen show that NH was applicant?

    • If yes, consider the listing of the child as written acknowledgment.

    • If no, go to step 3.

  3. Access REMARKS screen.

  4. Does REMARKS screen show that requirements in GN 00306.105A. are met (e.g., NH physically unable to sign application but gave information to applicant)?

    • If yes, consider the listing of the child as written acknowledgment.

    • If no, do not consider the listing as written acknowledgment. Obtain other evidence.