TN 26 (12-98)
GN 00306.275 Application of State Intestacy Statutes - Owens v. Schweiker (Ninth Circuit)- Child Cases (Rescinded 11/27/98)
The Owens v. Schweiker Acquiescence Ruling (AR 86-17(9)) was rescinded on 11/27/98 because, by means of a regulations change, SSA changed its policy concerning which version of State law to apply in death cases. (See GN 00306.075). SSA now incorporates the Owens court's holding on a nationwide basis when the version of State law in effect at the time we render our final decision on the claim is the version most beneficial to the child. Since the AR is no longer in effect, we have deleted the pertinent processing instructions but retained the following background information for historical purposes. Any questions about how cases were processed under Owens should be directed to the Applications, Adjudication, and Relationship Team of the Office of Program Benefits, Division of Eligibility and Enumeration Policy.
The following is for informational purposes only:
In the case of Owens v Schweiker , 692 F.2d 80 (9th Cir. 1982), the court ruled that we must apply the version of the law of intestate succession in effect in the State of the worker's last domicile at the time of the determination or decision on the child's claim. When the Court of Appeals decided the Owens case, SSA regulations implementing section 216(h)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act required adjudicators to apply the version of that State's law in effect at the time of the NH's death.
The Owens AR was effective from 5/21/86 until 11/27/98, and applied at all adjudicative levels within the Ninth Circuit. It applied in all determinations or decisions issued on or after May 21, 1986 regardless of the month of entitlement if, at the time of the determination or decision, the claimant was residing in the Ninth Circuit, which includes Alaska, Arizona, California, Guam, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, Northern Mariana Islands, Oregon, and Washington.
Benefits paid as a result of applying the AR are not terminated simply because the beneficiary no longer resides in the Ninth Circuit. All deductions, suspensions and nonpayment events listed in RS 00203.030 apply to the beneficiaries entitled under this ruling.