A couple will be considered to be living together as husband and wife in the month
of the beneficiary's death even though they were actually separated at the time of
death if their separation was caused solely by the illness of either, or by other
circumstances beyond their control. If the spouse was not living in the same household
with the beneficiary at the time of his death, record on a report of contact the length
of, and the reason(s) for, the separation. If the separation lasted more than 6 months,
sufficient information should be obtained about the circumstances to permit a determination
as to whether there was an intent to resume living together in the same household.
If such intent can reasonably be found, payment may be made to the surviving spouse.
For complete instructions on living in the same household see RS 00210.020.
An individual who was neither living in the same household with the decedent at the
time he died, nor entitled to monthly benefits on the same earnings record will qualify
as a surviving spouse in priority number 4 if he or she otherwise meets the relationship