TN 15 (08-11)

RS 00203.050 Protecting Interests of a Child

A. Policy on protecting interest of a child

Make all reasonable efforts to protect the interest of each child eligible for benefits by:

  • taking an application; and

  • developing necessary evidence.

NOTE: Neglect or lack of interest by a prospective payee in filing or furnishing evidence should not deprive a child of his or her right to benefits.

1. Application for Child’s Insurance Benefits, SSA-4-BK

The SSA-4-BK or electronic equivalent is an application for any child listed as the dependent child of the number holder (NH) when the filer is a proper applicant. The application establishes a protective filing date for any child listed for whom the filer is not a proper applicant, but the filer is not required to be the representative payee for these children.

REMINDER: The NH’s, or another auxiliary or survivor's application also constitutes a protective filing for a child who is not named on the application if it includes enough information to identify the child per GN 00204.010C.3.

NOTE: If the child or children meet the delayed claim action criteria in GN 01010.140, place the protected child or children in delayed status to ensure that no overpayment occurs to the auxiliaries or survivors whose applications were filed by a proper applicant.

2. Whereabouts unknown

If a protective filing is established for a child whose whereabouts are unknown, reasonable efforts to locate the child are unsuccessful, and no application is ever filed for the child, apply the protective filing closeout procedures in GN 00204.012F.2. to preclude a delay of benefits for the other children.

IMPORTANT: If the child is on the master beneficiary record (MBR) as a delayed claimant (i.e., LAF PB or PT), process the denial for the child and increase the benefit rates to the other auxiliaries or survivors on this SSN if no application is received within the closeout period per GN 01010.140D.

B. Procedure on delayed applications

1. Applicant restricts child’s application

If the applicant states on the application that there is no filing for one or more children, follow this procedure:

Step Action


Clarify the applicant's intent.

  • If the he or she merely does not wish to serve as representative payee, go to Step 2.

  • If he or she actually does not wish to protect the claims of the child(ren) in question, go to Step 3.


Explain to the applicant that filing for a child for whom he or she does not have responsibility does not obligate him or her to be payee for the child. If the applicant still does not wish to file, go to Step 3.


  • Have the applicant explain why he or she does not wish to file; and

  • Include the explanation in file on a Form SSA-5002 (Report of Contact), or a written statement on a Form SSA-795 (Statement of Claimant of Other Person) or on the RMKS screen in the Modernized Claim System (MCS).

2. Inquiry made on behalf of child

If an inquiry is made on behalf of a child or children, and the claimant does not know whether the NH is alive or dead or whether there is benefit eligibility, see the procedure for entitlement development in RS 00207.006G with appropriate modifications for a child's claim.

3. Application filed before requirement met

Where an application is filed in a month prior to the month in which all entitlement requirements are met, refer to the policy for filing before entitlement or eligibility in GN 00204.007C.

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RS 00203.050 - Protecting Interests of a Child - 01/04/2017
Batch run: 01/04/2017