TN 36 (09-15)

PR 01310.015 Idaho

A. PR 15-182 Evaluation for Payment of Benefits – Child Adopted After the Age of 21

Date: August 18, 2015

1. Syllabus

The claimant was adopted in 1994 by the NH and NH’s spouse. The claimant, NH and NH’s spouse were residing in Idaho at the time of the adoption. In the State of Idaho, a non-minor person may be adopted by a resident adult where the adopter has sustained the relation of parent to the non-minor adoptee for such a period of time that the court, after investigation, finds a substantial family relationship has been created. The District Court of the Second Judicial District of the State of Idaho entered an adoption decree in 1994, establishing a substantial family relationship between the claimant, NH and NH’s spouse. Accordingly, the adoption complied with the laws of the State of Idaho and with SSA laws, therefore, claimant has established the requisite parent/child relationship.  Under the laws of the State of Idaho, the claimant is considered the lawful child of the NH and NH’s spouse. Given that the claimant meets all other requirements, he is entitled to CDB benefits.

2. Opinion

QUESTION PRESENTED

You have asked whether J~ is entitled to Childhood Disability Benefits (CDB) from the Social Security records of either of his adoptive parents, Mr. & Mrs. K.

BRIEF ANSWER

Because J~ was legally adopted by the K couple and meets all other eligibility requirements, he is entitled to CDB benefits based on the Social Security records of Mr. and Mrs. K.

SUMMARY OF FACTS

J~ was born in 1963. He has been entitled to supplemental security income (SSI) benefits based on disability since he was approximately 12 years old. He has received full SSI benefits continuously since that time. J~ is not married.

The District Court of the Second Judicial District of the State of Idaho entered a valid adoption decree in 1994, making J~ the lawful child of Mr. and Mrs. K, which occurred when he was well over the age of 18. The order establishes that J~ and Mr. and Mrs. K were residing in Idaho at the time of the adoption.

Mr. K began receiving retirement benefits in 2003. Mr. K has been dually entitled to widower’s benefits since 2004, when Mrs. K passed away. Mrs. K was fully insured at the time of her death and began receiving SSI payments effective in 1996.

In May 2015, J~ filed a CDB claim.

ANALYSIS

An individual may be entitled to child’s benefits on the earnings record of an insured person who is entitled to old-age or disability benefits, or who has died, if he is the insured person’s child. To be eligible for benefits, the individual must (1) apply; (2) establish the relationship; (3) be dependent on the insured; (4) be unmarried; and (5) if over the age of 18, be under a disability that began prior to age 22. See 42 U.S.C. § 402(d)(1); 20 C.F.R. § 404.350 et. seq.

A child may be eligible for benefits as the insured’s child if he was legally adopted by the insured. See 42 U.S.C. § 416(e); 20 C.F.R. § 404.356. An adoption is legal if it complies with the adoption laws of the State where it took place and at least one party to the adoption was domiciled or residing in that jurisdiction at the time of the adoption. See 20 C.F.R. § 404.356; POMS GN 00306.135.

In the State of Idaho, a non-minor person may be adopted by a resident adult where the adopter has sustained the relation of parent to the non-minor adoptee for such a period of time that the court, after investigation, finds a substantial family relationship has been created. Idaho Code Ann. § 16-1501(1)(b). The District Court of the Second Judicial District of the State of Idaho entered an adoption decree in 1994, establishing a substantial family relationship between J~ and Mr. and Mrs. K, who were residing in Idaho at that time. Accordingly, the adoption complied with the laws of the State of Idaho and with 20 C.F.R. § 404.356. Therefore, J~ has established the requisite parent/child relationship.

Regarding the remaining eligibility requirements, J~ is considered “dependent” on Mr. and Mrs. K because he was legally adopted in 1994, before either adoptive parent became entitled to old-age or disability benefits. 20 C.F.R. § 404.362(a). Additionally, J~ is unmarried and has been under a disability since age 12. Therefore, all requirements to establish entitlement to CDB benefits have been met.

CONCLUSION

Under the laws of the State of Idaho, J~ is considered the lawful child of Mr. and Mrs. K. Given J~ meets all other requirements, he is entitled to CDB benefits on the accounts of Mr. and Mrs. K.