TN 16 (09-11)

RS 00203.010 Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Life Cases

A. Policy for MOET in life cases for child’s benefits

A child entitled to child's benefits on the earnings record (ER) of a living number holder (NH) is entitled (or re-entitled) to a monthly benefit effective with the first month the child meets all the requirements in RS 00203.001 throughout the entire month, provided the parent or representative filed an application for that month. (For a discussion on how the provision applies to each entitlement factor for child's benefits and what exceptions apply, see RS 00203.010B through RS 00203.010E of this section. See GN 00204.030 for the general rules in all sections on title II retroactivity.)

The “throughout the entire month” requirement became effective for months after August 1981, for applicants who were not entitled to child's insurance benefits on any ER for August 1981 or any preceding month. Prior to August 1981, the rules for entitlement or re-entitlement of a child on the ER of a living NH were the same as the rules for a child of a deceased NH.

NOTE: It is not necessary to file an application on the first day of a month.

B. Child’s relationship to NH

1. General information on relationship for benefits

The child must be a child of the NH throughout the first possible MOET; i.e., must be born and have the necessary relationship to the NH. Thus:

  • A child born during a given month, unless born on the first of the month, is not a child of the NH throughout the month. The child's first possible MOET to life benefits is the following month if within the scope of the application and the rules of title II retroactive allow. For more information, see GN 00204.030.

  • Some claimants born prior to the first possible MOET may not meet the definition of “child” throughout the entire month. (For information on how to apply the “throughout the entire month” requirement to the various categories of children, see RS 00203.010B.2. through RS 00203.010B.7. in this section.)

2. Illegitimate child with inheritance rights

  • If the act giving inheritance rights is retroactive to date of birth, the child's first possible MOET is the month following the month of birth unless he or she was born on the first day of the month.

  • If the act giving inheritance rights is not retroactive to date of birth, then the child's first possible MOET is the month following the month of inheritance rights unless the rights were acquired on the first day of the month.

3. 216(h)(3) child

  • If the child is entitled under the “other evidence” provision, the child must meet the requirements throughout the entire month. (For instructions on living with and contributions, see RS 00203.010C.)

  • If the child is entitled under the written acknowledgement, court order, or court decree provisions, we deem the acknowledgement, court order, or court decree to have occurred on the first day of the month it actually occurred.

NOTE: If the child is entitled on the ER of a disability beneficiary, this exception only applies if the final adjudication of the claim is on or after April 20, 1983, even if the child's first possible MOET is prior to April 1983.

4. Legally adopted child

If the date of adoption is in the first possible MOET but is not on the first day of that month, the child's first possible MOET is the following month.

5. Equitably adopted

When the child first meets conditions for an equitable adoption in the first possible MOET but not on the first day of that month, the child's first possible MOET is the following month.

6. Grandchild or step-grandchild

If the child does not meet any of the conditions of relationship (such as parent is disabled) throughout the first possible MOET, the first MOET is the following month.

EXCEPTION: If the basis of the grandchild's entitlement is that his or her natural or adoptive parent is deceased, we will deem the parent to be deceased as of the first day of the month of death.

7. Step-child

The following exception applies: Even though the one-year anniversary of the marriage between the NH and the child's parent may fall at any time during a given month, we will deem a step-child to meet the one-year duration requirement throughout the month in which the anniversary occurs.

C. Determining dependency

1. Points other than child's filing used to determine dependency

If a point other than the child’s application date establishes dependency, we deem the child to meet the dependency requirements throughout the first possible MOET.

2. Use the child’s filing to determine dependency

If the application date establishes dependency, we apply the following rules, depending on the dependency test used:

a. Deemed dependent

Deem a child dependent at the time of filing dependent throughout the first possible MOET.

b. Living with

The child must have been living with the NH from the first day of the month until the application filing date.

The following rules apply:

  • If the child was not living with the NH from the beginning of the month of filing, the child's first possible MOET is the following month.

CAUTION: If the child indicates that he or she will not continue living with the NH throughout the following month, the child does not meet the living-with requirement.

  • If there is information indicating that the child will not continue living with the NH for the rest of the month of filing, the child does not meet the living-with requirement.

  • If there is no information indicating that living-with will not continue for the rest of the month of filing, we assume that the child meets the living-with requirement for the rest of the month.

  • If we learn after filing that the child stopped living with the NH before the first possible MOET ended, the determination to award benefits is subject to reopening under the rules of administrative finality. (For information on administrative finality, see GN 04001.020.)

CAUTION: If the child is filing for retroactive benefits, we look to the actual living-with situation that existed in the first month in the retroactive period throughout which meets all requirements. For example, we will determine if the child stopped living with the NH before the first possible MOET ended, instead of assuming that living-with continued until the end of the month absent evidence to the contrary, as in cases involving prospective entitlement.

c. Contributing to support

Deem the child to have been receiving contributions throughout the first month of filing unless there is evidence that the support situation has changed or will change in that month.

NOTE: You may not use the “limited interruption” rule in these cases since the child would not be receiving contributions throughout the entire month. If contributions resume, the child should file a new application. (For information on the limited interruption rule, see RS 01301.005.)

d. One-half support

If you find the child to have received one-half support at the time the parent or representative filed the child’s application, we will deem the child to have been receiving one-half support throughout the month of filing unless there is an indication that the support situation changed before filing or is expected to change in that month. The NOTE in RS 00203.010C.2.c. also applies here with respect to the “untoward circumstances” rule (see RS 01301.020C).

D. Must be unmarried

The child must be unmarried throughout the first possible MOET. Therefore, if a child claimant indicates that a marriage has ended on any day of a given month other than the first day, the first possible MOET is the next month.

E. Must be under age 18, a student or a disabled child

1. Age

a. General information on age

The child must be under age 18 throughout the first possible MOET.

NOTE: A child who attains age 18 and is not a student or disabled is not entitled to benefits for the month they attain age 18.

b. Exception for student or disabled child benefits

A beneficiary entitled as a child for the month before attainment of age 18, but is eligible to be converted at age 18 to student's benefits or benefits as a disabled adult child is not subject to this provision. Consider this situation a continuation of benefits, not a new entitlement.

2. Student status

A child qualifying as a student on the ER of a living NH must be in full-time attendance (FTA) throughout the first possible MOET. We deem a student who meets the definition of FTA in RS 00205.300 to meet this requirement.

3. Disability

The child must be under a disability throughout the first possible MOET. Therefore, unless the date of onset is the first day of the month, the first possible MOET is the month following onset subject to the rules of retroactivity in GN 00204.030.


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RS 00203.010 - Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Life Cases - 02/14/2013
Batch run: 02/14/2013
Rev:02/14/2013