TN 14 (03-12)

RS 00208.090 Converting Spouse's Benefits to Mother's/Father's Benefits, Lump Sum (LS) Award, and Change of Payee for Children

A. Procedure for converting spouse’s benefits to mother or father benefits

When the widow(er) is entitled to spouse's benefits for the month before the month of the number holder’s (NH) death, convert her or him to mother's/father's benefits, unless any of the exceptions apply in RS 00208.090C. Award mother's/father's benefits and the lump sum (LS).

B. Procedure for immediate conversion

After you receive notice of the NH death, terminate the NH and award benefits to the widow(er).

1. Child-in-care assumption

If we base a spouse's benefit on having a child-in-care and we correctly paid the claimant for the month before the month of his or her death, assume we did not impose any deductions, since the claimant met the child-in-care requirements for mother's/father's benefits. Make the same assumption in a completed case not yet processed to award status if you pay spouse's benefits correctly for the month before the month of the NH's death, if you process the case to award. Award the widow(er) mother's/father's benefits and the LS, unless the exceptions apply in RS 00208.090C.

2. NH payee change

  1. When the NH was payee for a child, the system suspends the benefits until a new payee files an application and the field office (FO) approves it. Request that the FO contact the surviving parent to see if he or she wants to file as payee.

  2. If the spouse (not the NH) was payee for the child(ren) in the month before the month the NH died, and was not in deduction status for failure to have a child-in-care, assume that the child(ren) are in-care and no verification is required. However, if information received indicates the widow(er) is no longer the proper payee, suspend S-4 and initiate representative payee and child-in-care development.

    • Terminate benefits for the child-in-care if development discloses that the spouse did not have a child-in-care at the time of the NH’s death.

    • If we award mother’s/father’s benefits, terminate the benefit upon receipt of development.

C. Procedure for additional development before conversion

Do not apply the procedure in RS 00208.090B if:

1. SSA or railroad retirement (RR) jurisdiction

Information in the file indicates that it is necessary to determine whether the railroad retirement board (RRB) or SSA has jurisdiction of the survivor claim. See RS 01602.200.

2. Deemed marriage

Prior to 01/91, we award the claimant spouse's benefits based on a deemed marriage. See RS 00208.090D.

3. Annual report

We require an annual report for the deceased NH. See RS 02510.015.

D. Procedure for developing living in the same household (LISH)

Develop LISH in the following circumstances:

1. Deemed marriage

Prior to 01/91, LISH was a requirement. Assume without development that the NH and the widow(er) were LISH at the time of death if our records show they used the same address, provided there is no indication otherwise. Develop the mother's/father's relationship under State law, in connection with the spouse's claim if you cannot establish LISH. After 12/31/90, LISH is not required to convert a deemed spouse.

2. One spouse was payee for another

Always develop “living with” when one spouse was payee for the other, or other evidence indicates they did not live together.

Develop LISH whenever there is evidence in file that the NH and the widow(er) did not live at the same address when the NH died.

If the claimant is a legal widow(er) who was eligible for, or entitled to benefits on the NH's record for the month of death, you do not need proof of LISH. In this case, the PC makes the conversion and awards the LS. See RS 00208.090B.