TN 38 (08-23)

RS 00202.065 Spouse's Benefits - Marriage Certification

A. Policy

The NH's statement about present and previous marriages (marital history) must accompany the spouse's claim for benefits.

1. NH's statement

The NH's marital history may be on the:

  • NMAR screen (the NH's claim may be online or archived);

  • SSA-1;

  • SSA-16-F6; or

  • Online Retrieval System (ORS) Application Summary of the SSA-1 or SSA-16.

If the NH is not filing concurrently with the spouse, in addition to the marital history on the NMAR, SSA-1, SSA-16 F6, or ORS Application Summary, obtain:

  • a report of contact or a statement from the NH that their marital history has not changed since the NH's claim was adjudicated, or

  • an SSA-3 showing any changes since the NH's claim was adjudicated.

NOTE: Filing concurrently with the spouse means that the B claim is filed while the NH's claim is pending.

2. When an SSA-3 is not needed

An SSA-3 is not needed when the claimant files as a divorced spouse, or is filing to re-establish entitlement on the same E/R unless there is an intervening divorce.

Reference: For additional development on deemed spouses, see GN 00305.055.

B. Procedure - FO

1. General

FO action:

  1. a. 

    Compare the marital information given;

  2. b. 

    Ask the NH if the marital status has changed since adjudication;

  3. c. 

    If there are no changes, record “no change in marital status” on the RPOC screen;

  4. d. 

    If the marital status has changed, obtain an SSA-3 to record the changes. Document EVID as follows:

    • If the SSA-3 confirms the claimant's marriage to the NH as reported on the BMAR, record “NH's SSA-3 signed (date) confirms marriage to (name of claimant).

    • If there is a discrepancy between the BMAR and the SSA-3, record the discrepant marital information from the SSA-3 on the EVID screen. Indicate in the Comments field: “From NH's SSA-3 signed (date).”

  5. e. 

    Process the claim if there is no discrepancy or the discrepancy is resolved;

  6. f. 

    Develop as necessary to resolve any discrepancy; and

  7. g. 

    Document the spouse's claims file as to how the discrepancy was resolved.

SUGGESTION: When local conditions permit, consider unarchiving the NH's claim in advance to facilitate the spouse's interview and save processing time.

2. SSA-3/“No Change” Statement Not Obtainable

If the NH refuses to cooperate; e.g., the NH and spouse are separated, and neither the NH's refusal nor any other evidence suggests that the claimant is not the NH's spouse, document the RPOC screen. Make your determination by comparing the marital history on the NH's prior RIB/DIB claim with the claimant's history. For proof of marriage requirements, see RS 00202.070.

If the NH's mental condition prevents them from providing reliable marital information and the NH and spouse claimant do not live together, contact two individuals; e.g., a relative, the NH's custodian, who have knowledge of the NH's marital status since adjudication and document the RPOC screen. Determine the claimant's status using this information, the marital history on the NH's prior RIB/DIB claim and the claimant's marital history. For proof of marriage requirements, see RS 00202.070.

C. Reference

GN 00301.286  Electronic Evidence Documentation and Retention

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RS 00202.065 - Spouse's Benefits - Marriage Certification - 08/29/2023
Batch run: 08/29/2023