TN 16 (09-11)

RS 00203.020 When a Child Who Has Been Married May Be Considered “Unmarried”

A. Marriage definitions for initial entitlement

1. Definition of unmarried

A child who has been married is considered “unmarried” at the time of filing an application if:

  1. At that time, the marriage has been terminated by annulment, divorce, or death; or

  2. The marriage was void.

2. Putative marriage

a. Definition

Under the laws of some States, a party to a void marriage may acquire inheritance rights as a spouse. This relationship is a putative marriage. The essential basis of a putative marriage is a good faith belief in the existence of a valid marriage at its inception and a continuous good faith belief (in a life case) or good faith until the worker dies (in a death case).

b. Louisiana law

If the child's marriage was a putative marriage in Louisiana, there can be no entitlement for months before the termination of the putative relationship by acquisition of knowledge of the defect in the marriage. (For an explanation of Louisiana law, see GN 00305.085F.)

c. Other states’ law

A putative marriage in any other State that recognizes such marriages does not bar entitlement to child's insurance benefits. (For information on putative marriage, see GN 00305.085B through GN 00305.085G.)

3. Retroactive entitlement

Where a child is considered “unmarried” because the marriage has been dissolved, the child cannot become entitled to benefits for months in the retroactive period before the marriage was terminated.

4. Proof of marriage termination

A death certificate or copy of the divorce or annulment decree is required.

B. Reference

For information on re-entitlement requirements, see RS 00203.015A.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0300203020
RS 00203.020 - When a Child Who Has Been Married May Be Considered "Unmarried" - 02/14/2013
Batch run: 02/14/2013
Rev:02/14/2013