TN 59 (09-17)

GN 02602.400 Processing Reports of Divorce

The termination of a number holder’s (NH) marriage by divorce affects the entitlement of some Title II auxiliary beneficiaries.

If there is a spouse on the record, their entitlement terminates effective the month the divorce decree becomes final, unless the spouse can be entitled to divorced spouse’s benefits.

For more information on the entitlement requirements for a divorced spouse, see RS 00202.005.

For more information on termination events for spouse’s benefits, see RS 00202.040.

Benefits to a child of the divorced spouse entitled on the same record, who is the stepchild of the NH, terminates if the divorce between the NH and the stepchild’s parent becomes final July 1996 or later. If the NH legally adopted the child, benefits to the child may be possible. For more information on a stepchild’s termination due to divorce, see GN 00306.230A.3.b. and RS 00203.035B.4.a.

NOTE: Entitlement to spouse’s benefits terminates effective the month the divorce decree becomes final and entitlement to stepchild’s benefits terminates effective the month after the month the divorce decree becomes final.

A. National 800 Number Network (N8NN) processing instructions

When the N8NN receives a call for a divorce report inquiry, N8NN agents take the following actions.

1. Terminate a spouse due to divorce

If a spouse on the record terminates due to divorce, follow the detailed instructions in TC 36001.020.

2. Terminate a stepchild due to divorce

If a stepchild is entitled on the record, who the NH did not legally adopt, complete the Child Relationship (CREL) screen to update the end date of the child relationship and reason per MS COMMON 005.012.

NOTE: Code the Beneficiary Marriage (BMAR) common screen and CREL screens separately because they are independent of each other.

For more information on the BMAR screen, see SM 03020.040.

For more information on the CREL screen, see SM 03020.070.

3. Allegation of adoptive relationship between the NH and stepchild

If there is an allegation that the NH legally adopted a stepchild who is entitled on the record, send a Modernized Development Worksheet (MDW) to the field office (FO) for further development of the adoptive relationship.

For more information regarding modes of requesting assistance, see GN 01070.228 and GN 01070.420.

B. Field office (FO) processing instructions

When the FO receives a report of divorce, the FO technician takes the following actions.

1. Terminate a spouse due to divorce

If a spouse is entitled on the record, who is younger than age 62 in the month of divorce:

  • Complete the BMAR screen to update the marital status per MS COMMON 005.007; and

  • Fax the divorce decree (if applicable) into the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed). For more information on when we require proof of a marriage termination, see GN 00305.140.

    For access to NDRed, see GN 00301.310.

If the spouse is age 62 or older in the month of divorce, see RS 00202.005.

2. Terminate a stepchild due to divorce

If a stepchild is entitled on the record, who the NH did not legally adopt, complete the CREL screen to update the end date of the child relationship and reason per MS COMMON 005.012.

NOTE: Code the BMAR and CREL screens separately because they are independent of each other.

For more information on the BMAR screen, see SM 03020.040.

For more information on the CREL screen, see SM 03020.070.

3. Allegation of adoptive relationship between the NH and stepchild

If there is an allegation that the NH legally adopted a child who is entitled on the record as a stepchild:

  • Develop for the adoptive relationship following the instructions for a legally adopted child in GN 00306.135;

  • Place the stepchild in S9 miscellaneous suspension pending development of adoptive relationship;

  • Send necessary suspension notice;

  • Document your action via special message with the reason for S9 miscellaneous suspension; and

  • Create an MDW to control for response.

  • If there is no response after two attempts, complete the CREL screen to update the end date of the child relationship and reason per MS COMMON 005.012.

a. Stepchild meets the requirements as a legally adopted child

If the stepchild meets the requirements as a legally adopted child:

  • Update the new relationship type effective the date of adoption; and

  • Fax the proof of adoption into NDRed.

b. Stepchild does not meet the requirements as a legally adopted child

If the stepchild does not meet the requirements as a legally adopted child:

  • Complete the CREL screen to update the child relationship end date and reason per MS COMMON 005.012; and

  • Fax any documentation related to the adoption into NDRed.

4. Monitor the Post-entitlement Online System (POS) inputs for the BMAR and CREL screens

Monitor the Master Beneficiary Record (MBR) to see if the POS input for the CREL or BMAR screens processed successfully. If Title II Redesign (T2RD) processes the POS inputs successfully, do not take further action. If the POS input creates an exception, do not complete a duplicate input; take the following actions:

  • Check the Transaction History (THIS) query, Processing Center Action Control System (PCACS) query, or Paperless Read Only Query System (PPL ROQS) to see if the T2RD processing Action Control Record (ACR) is pending for action by the processing center (PC).

  • If there is no action pending after three business days, contact the servicing PC via MDW and request that they take the necessary action on the Title II exception.

For more information on the T2RD system basic processing, see SM 03001.001.

C. Processing center (PC) instructions

When the PC receives a report of divorce, the PC technician takes the following actions.

1. Terminate a spouse due to divorce

If a spouse is entitled on the record, who is younger than age 62 in the month of divorce:

  • Complete the BMAR screen to update the marital status per MS COMMON 005.007; and

  • Fax the divorce decree (if applicable) into NDRed. For more information on when proof of a marriage termination is required, see GN 00305.140.

If the spouse is age 62 or older in the month of divorce, see RS 00202.005.

If the Manual Adjustment Credit and Award Data Entry System (MACADE) requires a manual action to terminate the spouse:

  • Complete the BMAR screen to update the marital status per MS COMMON 005.007;

  • Fax the divorce decree (if applicable) into NDRed. For more information on when proof of a marriage termination is required, see GN 00305.140;

  • Readjust the rates of all remaining auxiliaries;

  • Post overpayments;

  • Annotate Debt Management System (DMS) remarks to document your actions; and

  • Send the necessary termination notice and include information regarding an overpayment, if applicable.

2. Terminate a stepchild due to divorce

If a stepchild is entitled on the record, who the NH did not legally adopt, complete the CREL screen to update the child end date of the relationship and reason per MS COMMON 005.012.

If MACADE requires a manual action to terminate a stepchild:

  • Complete the CREL screen to update the child end date of the relationship and reason per MS COMMON 005.012;

  • Readjust the rates of remaining auxiliaries;

  • Post overpayments;

  • Annotate Debt Management System (DMS) remarks to document your actions; and

  • Send the necessary termination notice and include information regarding overpayment, if applicable.

NOTE: Code the BMAR and CREL screens separately because they are independent of each other.

For more information on the BMAR screen, see SM 03020.040.

For more information on the CREL screen, see SM 03020.070.

3. Allegation of adoptive relationship between the NH and stepchild

If there is an allegation that the NH legally adopted a child who is entitled on the record as a stepchild:

  • Send a PCACS request for assistance to the FO for further development of the adoptive relationship;

  • Place the stepchild in S9 miscellaneous suspension pending development of adoptive relationship;

  • Send necessary suspension notice; and

  • Document your action via special message with the reason for S9 miscellaneous suspension.

For more information regarding modes of requesting assistance, see GN 01070.228 and GN 01070.420

D. References

  • GN 00305.140 Proof of Marriage Termination – General

  • GN 00305.165 Summaries of State Laws on Divorce and Remarriage

  • GN 02201.003 Determining Overpayment Amount

  • GN 02201.009 Notification of a Title II Overpayment

  • SM 03045.001 Title II Summary Processing

  • SM 03045.950 Exceptions and Resolutions


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GN 02602.400 - Processing Reports of Divorce - 09/18/2017
Batch run: 09/18/2017
Rev:09/18/2017