PR 01120.006 California

A. PR 01-059 Effective Date of Entitlement to Child's Insurance Benefits (Survivor) on the Account of Wage Earner, Frank L~, SSN:~

DATE: August 18, 2000

1. SYLLABUS

A child has established relationship to the NH under section 216(h)(2)(A) of the Social Security Act, by virtue of California Probate Code section 6453(b)(2). Since the child filed in September 1998 (and is entitled to up to 6 months' retroactivity) and she met all the entitlement requirements as of May 1998 (the month of the NH's death); her first month of entitlement would be May 1998.

NOTE: The premise underlying this opinion is that the provision of California intestacy law under which the child qualifies (shown in item 7 of the current California entry in POMS GN 00306.430) operates retroactively to the date of the child's birth, rather than prospectively only.

2. OPINION

ISSUE

You asked for the effective date of Claimant, Jessica L~' entitlement to child's survivor benefits based on the account of the wage earner (WE) Frank L~.

SUMMARY

Based on the application filed on September 2, 1998, Claimant is entitled to child's survivor benefits beginning with the month of May 1998.

SUMMARY OF EVIDENCE

The WE died domiciled in California on May 9, 1998. Claimant's mother filed an application for child's insurance benefits on Claimant's behalf on September 2, 1998.

Following denials at the initial and reconsideration levels, the claimant requested a hearing before an administrative law judge (ALJ). The ALJ held a hearing on February 18, 2000, at which Claimant's mother and another witness testified. In a decision issued on March 31, 2000, the ALJ found that Claimant was entitled to child's survivor benefits on the WE's account because she established the parent-child relationship under California intestacy law. 42 U.S.C. 416(h)(2)(A); California Probate Code section 6453(b)(2).

ANALYSIS

Social Security regulations, not California law, provide the date of entitlement to benefits. A person inherits intestate from a parent under California law when she can show the parent-child relationship as required under the California Probate Code. Here, the ALJ found that Claimant satisfied California law. The filing date of the Social Security application determines when the Social Security Administration begins paying monthly benefits. 20 C.F.R. section 404.321(a) (1999).

Under 20 C.F.R. section 404.621(a)(ii), a claimant may receive child's survivor benefits up to six months before the month she files the application if she files after the month she could have been entitled to them. The benefits begin with the first month in which she meets all of the requirements for entitlement.

To meet all of the requirements for entitlement to child survivor benefits on a wage earner's account, a claimant must file an application and show that the wage earner has died fully or currently insured, that she is the child of the wage earner, that she was dependent on the wage earner (a natural child is deemed dependent), that she is unmarried and that she is under age 18. 42 U.S.C. section 402(d)(1); 20 C.F.R section 404.350 (1999).

In this case, Claimant's mother filed the application for survivor benefits for Claimant on September 2, 1998, after Claimant became entitled to benefits. Claimant met all the requirements for entitlement to benefits on May 9, 1998, the date the WE died fully insured under the Social Security Act. Claimant was the natural child of the WE, and accordingly, was deemed dependent on the WE. Claimant was born in 1984, and thus was under the age of 18. Claimant's mother reported that Claimant was unmarried.

Because benefits can begin up to six months before the date of filing the application (September 2, 1998) and can begin no earlier than the month in which the claimant meets all the requirements of entitlement (May 1998), Claimant became entitled to benefits in the month of May 1998.

CONCLUSION

Claimant is entitled to benefits beginning in May 1998.


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PR 01120.006 - California - 02/13/2002
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:02/13/2002