TN 15 (08-11)
RS 00203.060 Child Entitled on Two or More Earnings Records
A. Policy if one child files on another earnings record (ER)
If one of the children who are currently entitled to child's benefits on a particular ER files an application for child's benefits on another ER, all such children who could also be entitled on the second ER are automatically entitled on that ER, regardless of whether they file.
B. Policy when some, but not all, children are entitled on two or more ERs
1. General rule if some, but not all, children are entitled
If some of the children are eligible only on one ER and other children are eligible on the same ER as well as on another ER, an application for children may be restricted if this would permit payment of benefits on both ERs.
Generally, the question of restricting the application arises in a situation in which some of the children can be entitled only on the ER with the higher Primary Insurance Amount (PIA); and if,
The application for the children who can be entitled on both is limited to the ER with the lower PIA; the total benefits payable to the family would be higher.
2. Volunteering advice on restricting applications
Restricted applications are not controlled.
Remember that a restriction could ultimately disadvantage some children in the event later deduction or termination events make it advantageous to have filed on another account. Therefore, exercise caution as to when to volunteer advice on restricting applications.
There will be some instances when a restriction would be advantageous. In these instances, advise the claimant about restricting the application. The family could receive substantially more in benefits with little or no risk resulting from the restriction in these cases.
There will be instances in which the current advantage is so substantial that they outweigh a possible future disadvantage.
b. Factors affecting whether to volunteer advice
The decision on whether to volunteer advice about restricting an application depends on a number of factors, such as:
Whether any children are already entitled and the ER on which they are entitled,
The number and ages of the children,
PIAs in question, and
Sometimes, whether the children are or will remain together, or whether the payee will change during the period of potential entitlement.
NOTE: If, from consideration of these factors, it appears reasonably clear there will be material advantage, volunteer the advice. If the applicant requests information, you may furnish it. In either event, the applicant must make the decision to restrict the application.
3. When not to restrict an application
Do not restrict the application if some of the children are entitled only on the ER with the lower PIA and other children can be entitled on both ERs. This is because the payment of benefits for the children eligible on both ERs is limited to the one with the higher PIA with the added advantage of the combined maximums in the computation of their benefits. For information on when a child should file on another ER, see RS 00203.060D in this section.
At the same time, the benefit amounts for the children entitled only on the ER with the lower PIA are computed as if the simultaneously entitled children were nonexistent. For information on simultaneous entitlement of children on more than one SSN, see RS 00615.770.
C. Choosing between two ERs
1. Entitlement under another ER
Where one or more children receiving benefits on the ER of one NH could become entitled on another NHs ER, consider the various factors that may result in a lower child's benefit even though the PIA may be higher. Follow the same procedures suggested in RS 00203.060B in this section.
2. Examples of factors resulting in a lower child’s benefit
In the case of a deceased NH and a living NH, the living NH may return to work, causing deductions.
In the case of two deceased NHs, the maximum may be involved with respect to one of the ERs so that the child would actually receive a lower benefit even with combined maximums.
In the case of two living NHs, either work deductions, reduction for the maximum, or both may be involved.
For a discussion of amount and payment of benefits to a child entitled on more than one ER, see RS 00203.025.
D. Policy when a child should file on another ER (maximum applies)
When the maximum applies because two or more beneficiaries (at least one child) are entitled to benefits on one ER and at least one child could become entitled on another ER, discuss with the applicant the possible advantage of filing an application on behalf of the latter child based on the second ER.
Entitlement permits combining the family maximum amounts (subject to the maximum limitation described in RS 00615.770A) for determining the maximum. The award form and the award letter reflect the resulting higher benefits.