TN 51 (07-16)

PR 01115.036 North Carolina

A. PR 16-116 Claimant’s Status as the Number Holder’s Child for Entitlement to Child Insurance Benefits on the Number Holder’s Earnings Record

Date: April 15, 2016

1. Syllabus

The number holder (NH) was domiciled in North Carolina when he died. Therefore, we look to North Carolina intestacy law to determine whether the claimant is NH’s child for child insurance benefit (CIB) purposes. Under North Carolina’s intestacy law, a surviving child is entitled to a share of a decedent’s personal property not disposed of by will and not distributed to a surviving spouse. The child support order sufficiently establishes the claimant was the NH’s child for CIB purposes under Section 216(h)(2)(A) of the Act. The claimant is the NH’s child under the North Carolina intestacy law and is eligible CIB benefits on NH’s earnings record.

2.  Opinion

QUESTION

You have asked whether a claimant’s birth certificate, which lists the number holder as the father with the same last name as the claimant and a mother with a different last name, is sufficient to show that the claimant is the number holder’s child for determining the claimant’s eligibility for child insurance benefits (CIB) on the number holder’s earning record. You have also asked whether Program Operations Manual System (POMS) GN00306.120B.2 and B.3 apply in this situation.

OPINION

The claimant is the number holder’s child for determining the claimant’s eligibility for CIB on the number holder’s earning record. Although you have asked us whether POMS GN00306.120B.2 and B.3 apply, we did not reach this issue because a child support order sufficiently establishes the claimant was the number holder’s child for CIB purposes.

BACKGROUND

T~ (Claimant) was born February XX, 1999, in V~, North Carolina. His birth certificate identifies his mother as E~ and his father as T2~, the number holder (NH). Claimant provided an October 2002 order from the General Court of V~, North Carolina, indicating NH was in arrears for child support payments to E~, Claimant’s mother. The order identifies NH as the non-custodial parent of Claimant. The court also noted that changed circumstances allowed it to adjust the amount of child support NH has to pay to $332.00 per month effective November XX, 2002. NH’s death certificate indicates he was a resident of North Carolina when he died on September XX, 2015.

DISCUSSION

To be eligible for CIB on the earnings record of an individual who died fully or currently insured, a claimant must be the individual’s “child.” See Social Security Act (Act) § 202(d)(1); 20 C.F.R. § 404.350(a)(1).1 “Child” includes “the child” of an insured individual. Act § 216(e); 20 C.F.R. § 404.354; Astrue v. Capato, 132 S. Ct. 2021, 2027 (2012). A claimant may show he is “the child” of a deceased insured individual, within the meaning of section 216(e)(1), by meeting the requirements listed in section 216(h)(2)(A) of the Act. See Capato, 132 S. Ct. at 2028. Under section 216(h)(2)(A), a claimant is considered “the child” of the insured individual if the claimant could inherit the insured individual’s intestate personal property under the law of the State in which the insured individual was domiciled when he died. See Act § 216(h)(2)(A); 20 C.F.R. § 404.355(a)(1), (b)(1), (b)(4); POMS GN 00306.055A.1; Capato, 132 S. Ct. at 2028; Schafer v. Astrue, 641 F.3d 49, 52 (4th Cir. 2011).

NH’s death certificate indicates he was domiciled in North Carolina when he died. Therefore, we look to North Carolina intestacy law to determine whether Claimant is NH’s child for CIB purposes. See Act § 216(h)(2)(A); 20 C.F.R. § 404.355(a)(1), (b)(1), (b)(4). Under North Carolina’s intestacy law, a surviving child is entitled to a share of a decedent’s personal property not disposed of by will and not distributed to a surviving spouse. See N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. §§ 29-13(a), 29-14(b)(1), (b)(2), 29-15(1), (2), 29-16(a)(1).2 North Carolina intestacy law states in pertinent part that a child born out of wedlock shall be entitled to take by, through and from:

(1) Any person who has been finally adjudged to be the father of the child pursuant to the provisions of G.S. 49-1 through 49-9 or the provisions of G.S. 49-14 through 49-16. . . .

N.C. Gen. Stat. Ann. § 29-19(b). An adjudication under subsection (b)(1) includes an order determining the support of a child of parents not married