Identification Number:
GN 00306 TN 41
Intended Audience:See Transmittal Sheet
Originating Office:ORDP OISP
Title:Child Relationship and Dependency
Type:POMS Transmittals
Program:Title II (RSI)
Link To Reference:
 

PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEM
Part GN – General
Chapter 003 – Evidence
Subchapter 06 – Child Relationship and Dependency
Transmittal No. 41, 06/21/2019

Audience

FO/TSC: CS, CS TII, CS TXVI, CSR, CTE, DRT, FR, OA, OS, RR, TA, TSC-CSR;
PSC: CA, CS, ICDS, IES, ISRA, RECONR, SCPS, TSA, TST;
OCO-OEIO: BET, CAQCR, CTE, FCR, FDEC, RECONR;
OCO-ODO: BET, CTE, CTE TE, DEC;

Originating Component

OISP

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

OISP initiated a re-write of these sections in GN 00306 on establishing parent-child relationships for Title II benefits to ensure the material is up to date and written according to the current POMS guidance and template. This transmittal includes updated titles and headings, editorial revisions, content reorganization, and more detailed processing instructions.

Three new sections are included in this transmittal to provide additional guidance to technicians on when to request a legal opinion for a case, what to do when an individual challenges a parent-child relationship, and how to disallow a case because we were unable to establish a parent-child relationship.

Summary of Changes

GN 00306.090 Title II Child Benefits Based on an Invalid Ceremonial Marriage

  • Revised title of section and subsection headings to more accurately describe content.

  • Corrected citations.

  • Removed reference to Black Lung law.

  • Added definition of legal impediment.

  • Added information about using the EAB Numident as evidence of biological relationship under certain circumstances.

  • Added statement that policy in this section should not be used for entitlement to parent's benefits or child's benefits for a posthumously concevied child.

  • Moved evidentiary requirements in GN 00306.095 into this section within procedure for developing the parent-child relationship under this provision. We will archive GN 00306.095 with publication of this transmittal.

GN 00306.095 Evidence to Establish Relationship - Child of Invalid Ceremonial Marriage

  • We archived this section because we moved the evidentiary requirements that it provided into GN 00306.090.

GN 00306.100 Overview of Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship for Title II Child Benefits

  • Revised title of section and subsection headings to more accurately describe content.

  • Corrected citations.

  • Added instruction not to apply the 216(h)(3) policy to establish a parent-child relationship for entitlement to parent's benefits or child's benefits for a posthumously conceived child..

  • Removed out of date information on prior laws that is no longer relevant to processing current claims.

  • Moved information on using Form SSA-2514, Record of Claimant's Intent to File, to protect the date of a written acknowledgment into GN 00306.105.

  • Added information on determining month of entitlement.

  • Moved processing instructions into relevant sections on written acknowledgment, court action, or other satisfactory evidence.

GN 00306.105 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Written Acknowledgment

  • Revised title of section and subsection headings to more accurately describe content.

  • Added citations.

  • Added instruction for technician to consider possible sources of written acknowledgment on Form SSA-2519, Child Relationship Statement.

  • Moved information previously in GN 00306.100 on using SSA-2514 to protect date of filing to this section.

  • Provided information on using the EAB Numident as proof of written acknowledgment and evidence of biological relationship under certain circumstances.

  • Provided more detailed and organized instructions on developing these cases.

  • Added information about effective date of parent-child relationship, dependency, and month of entitlement.

GN 00306.110 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Court Decree or Court Order for Support

  • Revised title of section and subsection headings to more accurately describe content.

  • Added citations.

  • Provided information on using the EAB Numident as evidence of biological relationship under certain circumstances.

  • Provided more detailed and organized instructions on developing these cases.

  • Added information about effective date of parent-child relationship, dependency, and month of entitlement.

GN 00306.125 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Other Satisfactory Evidence

  • Revised title of section and subsection headings to more accurately describe content.

  • Added citations.

  • Provided information on using the EAB Numident as evidence of biological relationship under certain circumstances.

  • Provided more detailed and organized instructions on developing these cases.

  • Included information on developing for evidence of living with or contributions for support, previously located in GN 00306.130. We will archive GN 00306.130 with publication of this transmittal.

  • Added information about effective date of parent-child relationship, dependency, and month of entitlement.

GN 00306.130 Living With or Contributions — Reference

  • We archived this section because we included the information it provided in GN 00306.125.

GN 00306.300 Child Relationship Statement – Form SSA-2519

  • Revised title of section to more accurately describe content.

  • Replaced embedded image of SSA-2519 with a link to the current version of this form.

  • Added information on the use of this form.

GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holders Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion

  • Added this new section to aid technicians in deciding when it is appropriate to send a case to the Regional Chief Counsel (RCC) for a legal opinion.

  • Included a non-exhaustive list of example situations.

GN 00306.310 Challenges to a Parent-Child Relationship Determination

  • Added this new section to provide guidance on procedures when an individual decides to challenge a parent-child relationship.

GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim based on Relationship Status

  • Added this new section to provide guidance to technicians on appropriate steps for disallowing a claim when we are unable to establish a parent-child relationship.

GN 00306.090 Title II Child's Benefits Based on an Invalid Ceremonial Marriage

CITATIONS:

Act - Sec. 216(h)(2)(B)
Regulations - Secs. 404.355(a)(2) and 404.346

A. Child born of an invalid marriage - Section 216(h)(2)(B)

The number holder’s (NH) biological child may meet the relationship requirement for Title II child's benefits if his or her parents went through a ceremonial marriage that would have been valid except:

  • a prior marriage had not ended or,

there was a legal impediment in connection with the intended marriage, but this is limited to:

  • when an attempted dissolution of a prior marriage was not valid, such as a mail order divorce; or

  • when the intended marriage is invalid because there was a defect in the procedure followed in connection with the intended marriage, such as a religious marriage in a country that requires a civil ceremony or failure to comply with State licensing requirements. For any case in which there is doubt about whether the defect is procedural, request a legal opinion following instructions in GN 01010.815.

For cases involving child's entitlement only, the concept of “good faith” (see GN 00305.055B.2) on the part of either or both of the child's parents at the time of the marriage ceremony is not material.

IMPORTANT: Do not apply this provision to determine a parent-child relationship for entitlement to:

  • parent's benefits (see RS 00209.000); or

  • child's benefits for a child conceived after the NH's death, also known as a posthumously conceived child. A posthumously conceived child can only be entitled if he or she has inheritance rights under State intestacy law. Refer all cases involving conception after the NH’s death for a legal opinion following instructions in GN 01010.815.

B. Developing entitlement when the parents’ marriage was invalid

When developing entitlement to child’s benefits based on an invalid ceremonial marriage, you must develop proof of the parents’ marriage ceremony and proof of the child’s relationship to the NH.

1. Proof of the parents’ marriage ceremony

Evidence of the parents’ marriage ceremony is always necessary to establish a child’s entitlement to benefits, even if we determine that the marriage was invalid. For more information on proof of ceremonial marriage, refer to GN 00305.020 and GN 00305.025.

2. Proof of the child’s biological relationship to the NH

Any pertinent evidence may establish the child’s biological relationship to the NH. The following are some examples of evidence:

  • the child’s Enumeration at Birth (EAB) Numident record showing the NH’s name in the mother's name at birth (MNA) or father's name (FNA) field, if no subsequent Numident iteration shows someone else’s name;

  • the child’s birth certificate recorded by a governmental entity charged to maintain such records, where the NH’s name appears in a space provided for the mother, father, or second parent;

  • a hospital or school record, showing the NH as the father or mother; or

  • a written acknowledgment by the NH to others, showing that the NH claimed the child as his or her own child.

NOTE: If a biological relationship cannot be shown, the child may be able to qualify as the stepchild of an invalid ceremonial marriage. For more information on stepchild relationship requirements, see GN 00306.230.

3. Dependency

Deem a child born during an invalid ceremonial marriage dependent on the NH unless someone other than the NH adopts the child during the NH's lifetime (see GN 00306.165).

C. Applying the presumption that the child is the NH’s biological child when the mother or father was legally married to someone else when the child was conceived

Entitlement to child's benefits based on the invalid ceremonial marriage of the NH and the child’s birth mother presumes that the child is the biological child of the NH, in keeping with the evidence provided according to GN 00306.090B.2.

This presumption applies, unless challenged, even if the mother was legally married to someone else when the child was conceived, as long as she and the NH were living together as a married couple at that time.

Consider whether:

  • the child’s birth mother was living with her legal (validly married) spouse when the child was conceived, or

  • someone challenges the presumption of biological parentage.

To weigh the factors when there is a challenge to a parent-child relationship, refer to GN 00306.310.

To determine the need for a legal opinion, refer to GN 00306.305.

To consider alternative child status options prior to disallowing the claim, refer to GN 00306.315.

D. References

  • GN 00305.020 Preferred Proof of Ceremonial Marriage

  • GN 00305.025 Secondary Proof of Ceremonial Marriage

  • GN 00305.055 Deemed Marriages

  • GN 00306.165 Entitlement Requirements - Child Adopted by Someone Other Than NH

  • GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holder's Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion

  • GN 00306.310 Challenges to a Parent-Child Relationship Determination

  • GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim Based on Failure to Establish Relationship

GN 00306.100 Overview of Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship for Title II Child's Benefits

CITATIONS:

Social Security Act - Sec. 216(h)(3); 202(d)(3)
Regulations No. 4 - Secs. 404.355, 404.731

A. Policy for establishing a parent-child relationship under the Federal standard in section 216(h)(3) of the Social Security Act (Act)

If the child is the number holder’s (NH) biological child, he or she may meet the relationship requirement under the Federal standard set out in section 216(h)(3) of the Act. If we establish a parent-child relationship under the criteria in section 216(h)(3), we deem the child dependent on the NH unless someone other than the NH adopted the child during the NH's lifetime (see GN 00306.100D).

Apply section 216(h)(3) when you cannot establish the parent-child relationship under State law. You may explore all possible relationship provisions consecutively or concurrently (see GN 00306.315A).

Section 216(h)(3) requires that the child must be the NH's son or daughter. Therefore, even if one of the requirements in GN 00306.100C is met, you must consider evidence showing that the NH is not the child's biological parent.

NOTE: If evidentiary standards for section 216(h)(3) are met, the NH's biological child may be deemed the child for benefit purposes regardless of the child's status under State law. The child may qualify under this provision even if presumed to be the child of another person under State law.

B. When you should not apply the 216(h)(3) policy

Do not use these instructions to determine:

  • relationship status for entitlement to parent’s benefits (see RS 00209.000); or

  • entitlement to benefits for a posthumously conceived child. The criteria in section 216(h)(3) require actions that occurred during the NH’s lifetime. Therefore, the child must have been conceived during the NH’s lifetime. We can only entitle a posthumously conceived child if the child has inheritance rights under State intestacy law. Refer all cases involving conception after the NH’s death for a legal opinion following instructions in GN 01010.815.

C. How to meet the relationship requirement under section 216(h)(3)

A child satisfies the relationship requirements under section 216(h)(3) based on meeting any one of the following three standards:

1. Written acknowledgment establishing the child as the NH’s child

We may establish a parent-child relationship under section 216(h)(3) based on the NH’s written acknowledgment that the child is his or her biological son or daughter.

For instructions on establishing a parent-child relationship using written acknowledgment, see GN 00306.105.

NOTE: For death claims, written acknowledgment must occur prior to NH’s death.

2. Court decree or court order for support establishing the child as the NH’s child

We may also establish a parent-child relationship under section 216(h)(3) when:

  • a court decrees that the child is the NH’s biological son or daughter; or

  • the court orders the NH to contribute to the child’s support because the child is the NH’s biological son or daughter.

For instructions on establishing a parent-child relationship using a court decree or court order, see GN 00306.110.

NOTE: For death claims, a court decree or order must have been issued prior to the NH's death.

3. Other satisfactory evidence establishes the child as the NH’s child and the NH was living with or contributing to the child’s support

We may also establish a parent-child relationship under section 216(h)(3) when:

  • other satisfactory evidence establishes that the child is the NH’s biological son or daughter; and

  • the NH was either living with the child or contributing to the child’s support at the time of application or the NH’s death. If the NH died after the child was conceived but before the child was born, this support requirement is satisfied if the NH was living with the child's mother or contributing to her support at the time of death.

For instructions on establishing a parent-child relationship under this provision, see GN 00306.125.

D. Deem dependency for a child based on section 216(h)(3)

We deem a section 216(h)(3) child dependent under section 202(d)(3) of the Act.

NOTE: If someone other than the NH adopts the child during the NH's lifetime, follow instructions in GN 00306.165.

E. Effective date of parent-child relationship based on section 216(h)(3)

Follow these instructions to determine the effective date of the parent-child relationship.

1. Written acknowledgment, court decree, or court order

The parent-child relationship does not begin until the date of the written acknowledgment, court order, or court decree, unless the evidence points to an earlier date. Therefore, you may need to develop other evidence of parentage where retroactivity is at issue. For more information on retroactivity for child's benefits, see RS 00203.001A.2.

NOTE: For information on using a Record of Claimant's Intent to File (SSA-2514) to protect the date of a written acknowledgment, see GN 00306.105G.

2. Other satisfactory evidence and living with or contributing to support

The parent-child relationship can begin no earlier than the date of the evidence, unless the evidence points to an earlier date. The living with or contributions requirement must also be met.

EXCEPTION: If a signed statement attesting to a person's knowledge about a child's parentage is being used as evidence, the date to which the statement points may be used as the effective date of the relationship.

F. Month of entitlement to child's insurance benefits based on section 216(h)(3)

To determine the child's first month of entitlement when we base the relationship on section 216(h)(3);

  • for a deceased NH, follow the procedures in RS 00203.005; and

  • for a living NH, follow the procedures in RS 00203.010B.3.

G. Consider all options before disallowing a child for failure to meet the section 216(h)(3) relationship requirement

Before ruling out entitlement to child's benefits based on section 216(h)(3), consider all possible sources of information suggested on the SSA-2519 Child Relationship Statement (see GN 00306.300). Form SSA-2519 must be included in the claim file before disallowing the claim.

Do not disallow benefits solely because the child does not meet the provisions of section 216(h)(3). You must also consider the child's status under applicable State intestacy law (see GN 00306.405 through GN 00306.680).

Follow instructions in GN 00306.305, GN 00306.310, and GN 00306.315, as applicable.

H. References

  • GN 00306.105 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Written Acknowledgment

  • GN 00306.110 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Court Decree or Court Order for Support

  • GN 00306.125 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Other Satisfactory Evidence and Living With or Support

  • GN 00306.165 Entitlement Requirements - Child Adopted by Someone Other Than NH

  • GN 00306.280 Support Requirement for 216(h)(3)(C)(ii) Child (Survivor Cases) – McNeal/Jones/Boyland Acquiescence Rulings for Title II Child’s Benefits

  • GN 00306.285 Support Requirement Under 216(h)(3)(C)(ii) for Posthumous Child – Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe Acquiescence Rulings for Title II Child’s Benefits

  • GN 00306.300 Child Relationship Statement – Form SSA-2519

  • GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holder's Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion

  • GN 00306.310 Challenges to a Parent-Child Relationship Determination

  • GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim Based on Failure to Establish Relationship

  • RS 00203.005 Child’s Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Death Cases

  • RS 00203.010 Child’s Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Life Cases

GN 00306.105 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Written Acknowledgment

CITATIONS:

Social Security Act - Sec. 216(h)(3);
Regulations No. 4 - Secs. 404.355, 404.731

A. Policy for a section 216(h)(3) child based on number holder’s (NH) written acknowledgment

When a child is the NH’s biological child, the child may satisfy the relationship requirement under section 216(h)(3) of the Social Security Act (Act) if, during the NH’s lifetime, the NH acknowledged the child as his or her child in a written statement.

The child must be conceived (in the womb) or born at the time of the acknowledgment.

Even if the NH acknowledged the child in writing, you must consider evidence showing that the NH is not the child's biological parent (see GN 00306.105E).

NOTE: If a child was born but not listed on the NH's RIB or DIB application, and the NH subsequently acknowledges the child in writing, this discrepancy suggests doubt as to the biological relationship, in the absence of a reasonable explanation for the delayed acknowledgment. In this case, follow instructions for establishing a parent-child relationship based on other satisfactory evidence in GN 00306.125.

B. Criteria for written acknowledgment under section 216(h)(3)

When evaluating the NH’s written acknowledgment of his or her child, the statement must both:

  • identify the child by name, or otherwise reference the specific child in an identifiable manner, e.g., as the child born to a specific person on a certain date or the child who is the unborn sibling of another named child; and

  • clearly acknowledge or identify the child as the NH’s child.

The acknowledgment may:

  • be signed or unsigned;

  • be either in the NH’s handwriting or recorded in writing by someone else at the NH’s express direction, e.g., SSA’s electronic record of an 800# lead, clearly based on the NH’s phone call;

  • be in any format or on any material;

  • not necessarily be in line with State laws regarding written acknowledgment for intestacy purposes; or

  • no longer be in existence or be unobtainable. If the acknowledgment no longer exists or cannot be obtained, the requirements are met if clear and convincing evidence supports that this evidence did exist. Clear and convincing evidence is any evidence showing that the alleged prior existence of the acknowledgment is substantially more likely to be true than untrue. Use caution in evaluating such evidence.

NOTE: For written acknowledgment under section 216(h)(3), definitions or precedents as to what constitutes written acknowledgment under State laws on legitimation or inheritance rights are not controlling.

C. Evidence of the written acknowledgment

Include evidence of the NH's written acknowledgment in the claims file. Consider all possible sources of written acknowledgment, including those listed in this subsection and those suggested on Form SSA-2519 Child Relationship Statement (see GN 00306.300).

1. Original or copy of the written acknowledgment

If possible, obtain the original written acknowledgment.

If the original document is not available, in certain circumstances a photocopy or a true and exact copy may be used. For more information, see GN 00301.030 and GN 00301.090.

If the acknowledgment is not signed, obtain evidence as to whether the NH prepared it.

If the writing is no longer in existence or it is unobtainable, the requirement is met if clear and convincing evidence shows that the NH acknowledged the child in writing. Clear and convincing evidence is any evidence showing that the alleged prior existence of the acknowledgment is substantially more likely to be true than untrue.

2. Child's full birth certificate (BC)

For policy on using information from a child's BC as written acknowledgment, see GN 00306.120.

3. Child's Numident

The Numident constitutes evidence of written acknowledgment if it:

  • includes an iteration that shows a "6" in the form code (FMC) field of the INTERNAL line, indicating an Enumeration at Birth (EAB) record;

  • shows the NH's name in the mother's name at birth (MNA) or father's name (FNA) field of the EAB Numident, setting aside minor discrepancies as described in GN 00203.020A.2.C;

  • does not show a name other than the NH's in the same field (MNA or FNA) in iterations following EAB; and

  • the NH's written consent was required by the State during the EAB process. Contact the State Bureau of Vital Statistics (BVS) or use a relevant precedent opinion to determine if written consent was required. For more information, see GN 00306.120.

4. Federal or State income tax return

A Federal or state income tax return where the NH listed the child as a dependent by name constitutes written acknowledgment.

Accept a copy of the NH's Federal income tax return from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or a comparable written record from the NH's tax preparer.

Accept a copy of the NH's State income tax return from the State's tax office or a comparable written record from the NH's tax preparer.

NOTE: Neither the IRS nor State tax offices provide copies of tax returns to SSA, and may charge the NH a fee for supplying a copy.

5. Modernized Claims System (MCS) screens

The NH may have listed the child on his or her retirement or disability insurance benefits (RIB or DIB) application, such as on the Dependent Children of NH (DEPC) or Remarks (RMKS) screens. If so, use the listing on the application as written acknowledgment if:

  • the Application (APPL) screen shows that the NH was the applicant; or

  • the RMKS screen shows that the requirements in GN 00306.105A and GN 00306.105B are met.

If not, do not consider the listing of the child as a written acknowledgment and obtain other evidence.

If you use an MCS screen as written acknowledgment, document the child's claim using a Report of Contact (RPOC) in MCS.

NOTE: If the MCS screens are archived, unarchive the screens to review them.

D. Child's biological relationship to the NH

Do not raise the issue of the child's biological relationship to the NH if the Numident:

  • includes an iteration that shows a "6" in the form code (FMC) field of the INTERNAL line, indicating an Enumeration at Birth (EAB) record;

  • shows the NH's name in the mother's name at birth (MNA) or father's name (FNA) field of the EAB record, setting aside minor discrepancies as described in GN 00203.020A.2.C and taking into consideration any other names the alleged parent may have used;

  • does not show a name other than the NH's in the same field (MNA or FNA) in iterations following EAB; and

  • if the NH is deceased, shows the EAB record was established prior to the NH's death.

If there is no Numident record meeting this criteria, obtain a full birth certificate (BC), i.e., one with spaces for parents' names. If the full BC shows the NH as the child's parent or the space for the parent's name is blank, do not raise the issue of biological parentage unless information in the file casts some doubt on the issue or there is any other reason to doubt the biological relationship (see GN 00306.105E).

If the full BC shows someone other than the NH as the child's parent or if a BC without spaces for parents' names is the only BC that can be obtained, e.g. because the State does not issue full BCs, document this on the MCS RPOC screen and follow the guidelines in GN 00306.125 to develop biological relationship.

E. Reasons to doubt biological relationship

Section 216(h)(3) requires that the child must be the NH's son or daughter. Therefore, even if the written acknowledgment meets the criteria in GN 00306.105B, you must consider evidence that the NH is not the child's biological parent.

Reasons to doubt the biological relationship include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • a child was born but not listed on the NH's RIB or DIB application, and the NH subsequently acknowledges the child in writing;

  • a BC without spaces for the parents' names is the only BC that can be obtained and the EAB Numident does not meet the criteria in GN 00306.105D;

  • the Enumeration at Birth (EAB) Numident or full BC shows someone other than the NH as the child's parent;

  • the EAB Numident is dated after the death of the NH; or

  • the BC was issued after the death of the NH.

In circumstances where there is reason to doubt the biological relationship, you must develop additional evidence that the child is the NH's biological child (see GN 00306.125B.1)

IMPORTANT: If the biological relationship is in doubt, document the full set of circumstances and the parentage determination (if you can make one) on a MCS RPOC screen or an SSA-5002 Report of Contact in non-MCS cases. If after pursuing additional development and consulting relevant precedent opinions the relationship remains unclear, request a legal opinion following instructions in GN 00306.305 and GN 01010.815.

F. Effective date of parent-child relationship based on written acknowledgment

The parent-child relationship does not begin until the date of the written acknowledgment, unless the evidence points to an earlier date. For information on using Form SSA-2514 Record of Claimant's intent to file or its electronic equivalent to protect the date of a written acknowledgment, see GN 00306.105G.

If multiple written acknowledgments are available, determine which writing is easiest to obtain and entitle the child. Later, obtain the writing that provides the child with the earliest month of entitlement.

You may need to develop other evidence of the parent child relationship where retroactivity is at issue. For information on retroactivity for child's benefits, see RS 00203.001A.2.

EXAMPLE: If the NH acknowledged the child on his or her Application for Retirement Insurance Benefits (SSA-1) but there are retroactive benefits due the child, the acknowledgment on the SSA-1 will permit payment only from the month of filing. In order to pay the child for the retroactive period, you must establish that an earlier acknowledgment, court decree, or court order exists, or that the other evidence proves that the child meets the conditions for the earlier period.

G. Use of SSA-2514 or electronic equivalent to protect date of written acknowledgment

When the NH's application (or the NH's application on behalf of the child) constitutes written acknowledgment of a child for purposes of section 216(h)(3), Form SSA-2514 or its electronic equivalent will protect the date of written acknowledgment if:

  • the NH is shown as the person who contacted SSA;

  • an intent to file for the child is shown, e.g., child is listed by name or beneficiary identification code (BIC); and

  • there is no question that the child or children for whom the application is filed is the same as the child or children referred to on the SSA-2514 or electronic equivalent.

H. Dependency for NH's child based on written acknowledgment

If you establish the child's relationship to the NH based on the written acknowledgment provision of section 216(h)(3), deem the child dependent on the NH unless someone other than the NH adopts the child during the NH's lifetime (see GN 00306.165).

I. Month of entitlement to child's benefits based on written acknowledgment

For policy on the first month of entitlement (MOET) for child's benefits, see RS 00203.005 for death cases and RS 00203.010 for life case.

J. References

  • GN 00306.100 Overview of Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship for Title II Child's Benefits

  • GN 00306.110 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Court Decree or Court Order for Support

  • GN 00306.125 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Other Satisfactory Evidence and Living With or Support

  • GN 00306.165 Entitlement Requirements - Child Adopted by Someone Other Than NH

  • GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holder's Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion

  • GN 00306.310 Challenges to a Parent-Child Relationship Determination

  • GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim Based on Failure to Establish Relationship

  • PR 01210.000 State Law Requirements For Showing Information About Father On Child's BC – Table of Contents

  • RS 00203.005 Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Death Cases

  • RS 00203.010 Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Life Cases

GN 00306.110 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Court Decree or Court Order for Support

CITATIONS:

Social Security Act - Sec. 216(h)(3);
Regulations No. 4 - Secs. 404.355, 404.731

A. Policy for section 216(h)(3) child based on a court decree or order for support

When a child is the number holder’s (NH) biological child, the child may satisfy the relationship requirement under section 216(h)(3) of the Social Security Act (Act), if a court has either:

  • decreed that the NH is the biological parent of the child, or

  • ordered the NH to contribute to the child's support as the child’s biological parent.

Even if one of these requirements is met, you must consider any evidence showing that the NH is not the child's biological parent (see GN 00306.110E).

NOTE: If the NH is deceased the court must have made or issued a decree or order prior to the NH's death. In the event of a posthumous court action, explore provisions for establishing a parent-child relationship under State law, or develop for other satisfactory evidence under section 216(h)(3) using the instructions in GN 00306.125.

B. Criteria for court decree or order for support

The court decree or order for support must find the NH is the biological parent of the child, name the NH, and identify the child.

1. Biological relationship

The court decree or order for support must find that the NH is the biological parent of the child, either:

  • by clearly stating that the NH is the biological parent of the child; or

  • by indicating that the court charged the NH and the NH either pleaded guilty or the court found the NH guilty under a specific statute applicable only if he or she is the child's biological parent; or

  • by directing the NH to contribute to the child's support as the child’s biological parent and either named the NH as the child’s parent or have been issued under a statute requiring a parent to support his or her child.

State court orders, i.e., judgments, decrees, or trial court decisions that determine the NH is the biological parent of the child in this manner are generally sufficient evidence of that relationship.

Consult relevant precedent opinions as necessary in PR 01215.000.

Request a legal opinion following instructions in GN 01010.815 if:

  • a decree shows a finding under a statute or provision of a state code and refers to it only by a number and you have no information on the nature of the statute; or

  • the order appears questionable or does not appear to be consistent with the issuing State’s law as outlined in the State Law Digest in GN 00306.405 through GN 00306.680. For more information, see SSR 83-37c (Gray v. Richardson).

2. NH's name and child's identity

The decree or order must name the NH and identify the child. It does not have to identify the child by name if it clearly refers to the child in question. You may consider related court records (e.g., complaint, indictment).

C. Proof of the court decree or order for support

Obtain a copy of the court decree or order for support certified by the proper court official. Accept an excerpt from the order or decree if it is certified by the court official and contains sufficient information. You may consider a related court record, e.g., complaint, indictment.

The child's full birth certificate (BC), i.e., one with spaces for the parents' names, may be used as proof of a court determination of parentage if the state required a court decree or order to issue the BC. For policy on using information from a child's BC as proof of a court order, see GN 00306.120.

If there is any indication of a modification in a finding that the NH is the child's parent or the identity of the parent in the court order, obtain a current decree or order certified by the proper court official as to whether or not the court vacated or changed the finding.

Fax the materials into the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed).

D. Child's biological relationship to the NH

Do not raise the issue of the child's biological relationship to the NH if the Numident:

  • includes an iteration that shows a "6" in the form code (FMC) field of the INTERNAL line, indicating an Enumeration at Birth (EAB) record;

  • shows the NH's name in the mother's name at birth (MNA) or father's name (FNA) field of the EAB record, setting aside minor discrepancies as described in GN 00203.020A.2.C and taking into consideration any other names the alleged parent may have used;

  • does not show a name other than the NH's in the same field (MNA or FNA) in iterations following EAB; and

  • if the NH is deceased, shows the EAB record was established prior to the NH's death.

If there is no Numident record meeting this criteria, obtain a full birth certificate (BC), i.e., one with spaces for parents' names. If the full BC shows the NH as the child's parent or the space for the parent's name is blank, do not raise the issue of biological parentage unless information in the file casts some doubt on the issue or there is any other reason to doubt the biological relationship (see GN 00306.105E).

If the full BC shows someone other than the NH as the child's parent or if a BC without spaces for parents' names is the only BC that can be obtained, e.g. because the State does not issue full BCs, document this on the MCS RPOC screen and follow the guidelines in GN 00306.125 to develop biological relationship.

E. Reasons to doubt biological relationship

Section 216(h)(3) requires that the child must be the NH's son or daughter. Therefore, even if one of the requirements in GN 00306.110A is met, you must consider evidence that the NH is not the child's biological parent. However, such evidence must be very persuasive to override a court action.

Reasons to doubt the biological relationship include, but are not limited to, the following;

  • a BC without spaces for parents' names is the only BC that can be obtained and the EAB Numident does not meet the criteria in GN 00306.110D;

  • the Enumeration at Birth (EAB) Numident or BC shows someone other than the NH as the child's parent;

  • the EAB Numident is dated after the death of the NH; or

  • the BC was issued after the death of the NH.

In circumstances where there is reason to doubt the biological relationship, you must develop additional evidence that the child is the NH's biological child (see GN 00306.125B.1).

IMPORTANT: If the biological relationship is in doubt, document the full set of circumstances and the parentage determination (if you can make one) on a Modernized Claims System (MCS) Report of Contact (RPOC) screen or on an SSA-5002 Report of Contact in non-MCS cases. If, after pursuing additional development and consulting relevant precedent opinions, the relationship remains unclear, request a legal opinion following instructions in GN 00306.305 and GN 01010.815.

F. Effective date of parent-child relationship based on court decree or court order for support

The parent-child relationship does not begin until the date of the court action, unless the evidence points to an earlier date.

You may need to develop other evidence of the parent-child relationship where retroactivity is at issue. For more information on retroactivity for child's benefits, see RS 00203.001A.2.

G. Dependency for NH's child based on court decree or court order for support

If you establish the child's relationship to the NH based on a court decree or court order for support, deem the child dependent on the NH unless someone other than the NH adopts the child during the NH's lifetime (see GN 00306.105).

H. Month of entitlement to child's benefits based on court decree or court order for support

For policy on first month of entitlement (MOET) for child's benefits, see RS 00203.005 for death cases and RS 00203.010 for life cases.

I. References

  • GN 00306.100 Overview of Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship for Title II Child's Benefits

  • GN 00306.105 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Written Acknowledgment

  • GN 00306.125 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Other Satisfactory Evidence and Living With or Support

  • GN 00306.165 Entitlement Requirements - Child Adopted by Someone Other Than NH

  • GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holder's Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion

  • GN 00306.310 Challenges to a Parent-Child Relationship Determination

  • GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim Based on Failure to Establish Relationship

  • PR 01210.000 State Law Requirements For Showing Information About Father On Child's BC – Table of Contents

  • RS 00203.005 Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Death Cases

  • RS 00203.010 Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Life Cases

GN 00306.125 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Other Satisfactory Evidence and Living With or Support

CITATIONS:

Social Security Act - Sec. 216(h)(3);
Regulations No. 4 - Secs. 404.355, 404.731

A. Policy for section 216(h)(3) child based on other satisfactory evidence and living with or support

The number holder's (NH) child may satisfy the relationship requirement for Title II child's benefits under section 216(h)(3) of the Social Security Act (Act) through other satisfactory evidence. First, there must be satisfactory evidence that meets the standards set out in this section that clearly identifies the child and shows that the child is the NH's biological child. Second, the evidence must also show either:

  • the NH is the child's mother or father and is living with or contributing to the support of the child when he or she files the application; or

  • the NH is deceased, the NH was the child's mother or father, and was living with or contributing to the support of the child at the time of the NH’s death; or, in cases when the child was in the womb when the NH died, living with or contributing to the support of the mother at the time of the NH’s death.

The evidence does not have to be in any specific form, but it must establish (1) biological parentage and (2) living with or contributions for support. Consider such factors as its age, date established, reason established, formality, and who furnished the information on which it was based.

B. Procedure to establish section 216(h)(3) status based on other satisfactory evidence

Follow the steps in this subsection to assist in determining if the child is the NH’s child based on the other satisfactory evidence provision of section 216(h)(3). You must obtain evidence of the child's biological relationship to the NH and develop for "living with" or "contributing to the support of the child."

Evaluate all evidence and document the relationship determination on the Modernized Claim System (MCS) Report of Contact (RPOC) screen, or on an SSA-5002 Report of Contact in non-MCS cases.

1. Biological relationship

The evidence must establish that the NH is the child's biological parent.

a. Evidence of biological relationship

To establish the child's biological relationship to the NH, obtain the child's Numident record meeting the criteria in this subsection or the child's birth certificate (BC), statements from the parent(s), and additional evidence as needed.

You may accept the child's Numident record to support a determination that the NH is the child's biological parent if the Numident:

  • includes an iteration that shows a "6" in the form code (FMC) field of the INTERNAL line, indicating an Enumeration at Birth (EAB) record;

  • shows the NH's name in the mother's name at birth (MNA) or father's name (FNA) field of the EAB record, setting aside minor discrepancies as described in GN 00203.020A.2.C and taking into consideration any other names the alleged parent may have used;

  • does not show a name other than the NH's in the same field (MNA or FNA) in iterations following EAB; and

  • if the NH is deceased, shows the EAB record was established prior to the NH's death.

If there is no Numident record meeting this criteria, obtain the child's birth certificate (BC).

In life cases, unless there is evidence to the contrary (see GN 00306.125B.1.b), accept the child's BC as evidence of the child's biological relationship to the NH if it shows the NH as the child's parent or the space for the parent's name is blank. A BC that does not identify the child's parents, including one submitted because State law does not allow issuance of a full BC, is not in itself evidence to the contrary.

In death cases, unless there is evidence to the contrary (see GN 00306.125B.1.b), accept the child's BC as evidence of the child's biological relationship to the NH if it shows the NH as parent. Develop other evidence as in GN 00306.125B.1.b if the BC cannot be found, it shows that the birth was registered after the NH's death, or it does not show the NH as parent.

In addition, obtain the following statement(s), preferably on Form SSA-2519 Child Relationship Statement:

  • NH's statement that he or she is the child's parent (if he or she is not the applicant for the child), or, if the NH is deceased or “whereabouts unknown,” additional evidence per GN 00306.125B.1.b; and

  • second parent's statement as to maternity or paternity (if he or she is not the applicant).

This information would ordinarily be sufficient to establish the parent-child relationship in the absence of evidence to the contrary. For information on when obtaining additional evidence is necessary, see GN 00306.125B.1.b.

b. When you should obtain additional evidence of biological relationship

Obtain additional evidence of the child's biological relationship to the NH if:

  • you cannot obtain the information in GN 00306.125B.1.a;

  • the space for the NH's name is blank on the EAB Numident;

  • another person is named as the child's parent on the EAB Numident or subsequent iterations of the Numident;

  • the space for the NH's name is blank on the child's BC in a death case;

  • another person is named as the child's parent on the BC;

  • the child's surname on a short form BC is not the NH's surname or the mother's maiden name;

  • the state cannot locate a birth registration for the child;

  • the birth was registered after the NH's death;

  • the EAB Numident is dated after the NH's death;

  • there is a delayed acknowledgment;

  • the NH is incompetent, denies that he or she is the parent, or does not cooperate;

  • the NH is deceased or "whereabouts unknown"; or

  • any other doubt exists as to whether the NH is the child's biological parent.

Additional evidence may include, but is not limited to:

  • hospital, church, or school records;

  • a court decree or order;

  • a statement from the attending physician, relative, or person who knows the child's relationship to the NH, e.g. the NH's spouse, including the basis for that knowledge (for information on the effective date of the relationship when using a statement as evidence, see GN 00306.125C);

  • evidence that the NH and the child's other parent were living together when the child was conceived; or

  • blood or genetic test results.

CAUTION: While you may mention blood or genetic tests as one type of additional evidence of parentage that SSA may consider, do not suggest the child or NH must request a blood or genetic test or imply that SSA requires one.

NOTE: Results from mail order or over-the-counter DNA testing kits are not acceptable as evidence of biological maternity or paternity.

2. Living with or contributing to support

The evidence must also show either:

  • the NH is living with or contributing to the support of the child when the child files his or her application; or

  • the NH is deceased, and the NH was living with or contributing to the support of the child at the time of the NH's death. In cases where the child was in the womb when the NH died, the NH must have either been living with or contributing to the support of the mother at the time of the NH's death (see SSR 68-22).

For applicability of acquiescence rulings concerning the "contributions" requirement for a surviving section 216(h)(3) child, see GN 00306.280 and GN 00306.285.

For instructions on developing living with and contributions for support, see RS 01301.002 and RS 01301.005, respectively.

C. Effective date of parent-child relationship based on other satisfactory evidence and living with or support

When establishing parentage using the other satisfactory evidence provision of section 216(h)(3), the parent-child relationship can begin no earlier than the date of the evidence, unless the evidence points to an earlier date. The living with or contributions requirement must also be met.

EXCEPTION: If a signed statement attesting to a person's knowledge about a child's paternity is being used as evidence, the date to which the statement points may be used as the effective date of the relationship.

D. Dependency for NH's child based on other satisfactory evidence and living with or support

If you establish the child's relationship to the NH based on other satisfactory evidence and living with or support, deem the child dependent on the NH unless someone other than the NH adopts the child during the NH's lifetime (see GN 00306.165).

E. Month of entitlement to child's benefits based on other satisfactory evidence and living with or support

For policy on first month of entitlement (MOET) for child's benefits, see RS 00203.005 for death cases and RS 00203.010 for life cases.

F. References

  • GN 00306.100 Overview of Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship for Title II Child's Benefits

  • GN 00306.105 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Written Acknowledgment

  • GN 00306.110 Section 216(h)(3) – Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Court Decree or Court Order for Support

  • GN 00306.165 Entitlement Requirements - Child Adopted by Someone Other Than NH

  • GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holder's Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion

  • GN 00306.310 Challenges to a Parent-Child Relationship Determination

  • GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim based on Failure to Establish Relationship

  • RS 00203.005 Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Death Cases

  • RS 00203.010 Child's Benefits First Month of Entitlement (MOET) in Life Cases

  • RS 01301.002 Living With

  • RS 01301.005 Contributions for Support

GN 00306.300 Child Relationship Statement – Form SSA-2519

A. Use of the Child Relationship Statement (Form SSA-2519)

Form SSA-2519 prompts for possible sources of information that may support a finding that a child is the child of a number holder (NH) under Section 216(h)(3).

Where the evidence that the claimant has submitted is insufficient to establish a child relationship, follow up on information listed on Form SSA-2519 that may have a bearing on the child's entitlement to Title II child's benefits.

Fax a completed Form SSA-2519 into the Non-Disability Repository (NDR) using the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed) for retention as part of the child’s claim file.

B. References to Form SSA-2519

  • GN 00306.100 Overview of Section 216(h)(3) - Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship for Title II Child's Benefits

  • GN 00306.125 Federal Standard for a Parent-Child Relationship Based on Other Satisfactory Evidence and Living With or Support

  • GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim Based on Failure to Establish Relationship

GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holder's Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion

In some cases, you will need to request a legal opinion to resolve a child relationship or dependency issue.

A. Before requesting a legal opinion

Before you request a legal opinion to resolve a child relationship or dependency issue, consider whether the child qualifies as the number holder's (NH) child for the earliest possible month of entitlement under any of the child relationship categories in GN 00306.000.

Review the following instructions to determine if you can establish a parent-child relationship without a legal opinion:

B. When to request a legal opinion

Request a legal opinion following instructions in GN 01010.815 if you determine that there are:

  • no definitive instructions for the child's situation (see examples of such situations in GN 00306.305C); and

  • no reasonable alternative means of entitling the child to benefits.

NOTE: If you submit a claim for a legal opinion, exclude the claim from District Office Final Authorization (DOFA) using code RV03 (e.g., in MCS cases, enter "1" as the non-DOFA reason on the Decision Input (DECI) screen.

C. Examples of child determinations that may require or require a legal opinion

The following are examples of child determinations that may require or require a legal opinion. This list of situations is not exhaustive.

1. Conflicting parent-child relationships

When a child could have three or more parents, you may need to request a legal opinion.

For example, a child legally adopted by a couple may still be the NH’s child under State intestacy law, while a fourth individual presents evidence that he may be the child’s biological father.

When the State law is unclear and no relevant precedent exists, request a legal opinion.

2. Questionable DNA evidence

Request a legal opinion when DNA evidence purports to establish a biological parent-child relationship under State intestacy law or section 216(h)(3), but it is unclear whether that evidence is valid according to instructions in GN 00306.100 and GN 00306.125.

3. Assisted reproductive technology (ART)

Evolving State laws do not always reflect the latest advances in medical technology. Request a legal opinion when a case involves ART not specifically addressed in the State law digest (GN 00306.400 to GN 00306.680) or in a relevant precedent (PR 00900.000 to PR 01800.000).

a. Child conceived after NH’s death

The only way to establish a child relationship for a child conceived after the NH’s death is according to State intestacy law, and many states have not enacted such laws. Request a legal opinion for all cases involving a child conceived after the NH’s death.

b. Surrogacy arrangements

While some states addressed surrogacy arrangements in their laws regarding the intestacy rights of children, most have not. You may be able to establish a biological parent-child relationship based on court action under section 216(h)(3) (see GN 00306.110). For all other cases involving surrogacy, request a legal opinion.

4. Intestacy laws in the child’s birth state differ materially from the laws in the NH’s domicile state

If the laws in the child’s birth state (or the NH’s domicile state at the time of the child’s birth) differ materially from the laws in the NH’s domicile state, and neither the State digest entries nor precedent opinions fully resolve the conflict or choice of law matter under the law of the NH’s domicile, request a legal opinion.

D. References

  • GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim based on Relationship Status

  • GN 01010.815 Request for a Legal Opinion

GN 00306.310 Challenges to a Parent-Child Relationship Determination

These instructions provide guidance when someone challenges the child’s relationship to the number holder (NH).

A. When parent-child relationship status is open to challenge

Evidence presented to challenge the existence of a parent-child relationship may affect the child’s entitlement to Title II benefits. Parent-child relationships can be challenged while a child’s claim:

  • is pending an initial decision;

  • is within the administrative appeals period; or

  • is within the period available to reopening, according to the rules of administrative finality.

To decide if you may reopen a finally allowed or disallowed child’s claim to make a new determination, follow the rules for reopening in GN 04000.000. See also GN 04030.070 for the effect of administrative finality on subsequent and prior claims. Generally, do not reopen Title II benefit determinations after four years unless fraud or similar fault exists (see GN 04020.010).

Do not use new evidence challenging an earlier finding that someone is or is not a child’s parent for Title II benefits to suspend or terminate a child’s continuing entitlement to benefits. Refer to reopening policy in GN 04000.000 and, if necessary, request a Regional Chief Counsel (RCC) opinion following instructions in GN 00306.305 and GN 01010.815.

For events that may terminate a child’s continuing entitlement for benefits, see RS 00203.035.

B. Obtain statements from the individual making the challenge and others who are in a position to know the facts

This subsection provides an overview on obtaining information when someone challenges a child’s status relative to the NH.

1. Obtain a signed statement from the individual making the challenge

Obtain a signed statement, such as Form SSA-795 Statement of Claimant or Other Person, from the individual challenging the parent-child relationship.

Include the individual’s:

  • relationship, familial or otherwise, to the NH and child;

  • reasons for believing that the NH is not the child’s parent, including the factors (as applicable) in GN 00306.310.B.2; and

  • sources of information to support his or her belief.

Fax the statement into the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed).

NOTE: A few states apply the Lord Mansfield Rule, which prohibits the mother of a child and her legal husband at the time of the child's conception or birth from giving testimony that might rebut the child's status as the NH's child. For more information about the Lord Mansfield Rule and which states apply it, see GN 00306.025 and GN 00306.026.

2. Obtain statements or reports from others who are in a position to know the facts

Obtain signed statements or prepare reports of contact summarizing information and allegations from neighbors, friends, relatives, or others in a position to know the facts.

Include, as applicable:

  • the individual’s role in the child’s life;

  • the actual words the individual recalls hearing the NH use to acknowledge or disavow the child;

  • whether the alleged parents lived together continuously and were considered married in their community;

  • whether the child was born prematurely or whether the gestation period was otherwise abnormal;

  • who was considered the child’s parents by family members and others in a position to know the facts at the time the child was born;

  • whether the alleged parent(s) formalized the artificial reproductive technology (ART) process with their signed consent and under a doctor’s supervision for conceptions involving ART;

  • whether the birth mother’s husband was sterile or completely unavailable to the birth mother at the pertinent time for conceptions not involving ART;

  • whether genetic tests or blood tests were performed to establish the child’s parentage; and

  • other information that the situation warrants.

Fax signed statements and reports of contact obtained outside of the Modernized Claims System (MCS) into NDRed.

C. Obtain documents or other evidence to support or refute the statements

If possible, obtain documents or other evidence to support or refute the statements obtained in GN 00306.310B in this section, including but not limited to:

  • birth or marriage certificates (supporting or contradicting those obtained according to procedures in GN 00306.010);

  • consent to ART statements (supporting or contradicting those obtained according to procedures in GN 00306.010);

  • court documents regarding the child’s parentage, including child support orders;

  • letters, greeting cards, social media output, or email records from the parties involved, which support or refute the allegations;

  • genetic or blood test results meeting the standards specified in the applicable State intestacy digest entry;

  • relevant medical records regarding the child’s birth;

  • relevant medical records supporting or ruling out the likelihood that the NH gave birth to, fathered, or provided genetic material to the child;

  • any other information related to the challenge.

Fax the evidence into NDRed.

D. Make a determination about the validity of the parent-child relationship between the child and the NH

After considering collected evidence both supporting and challenging the parent-child relationship, make a determination on the status of the parent-child relationship between the child and the NH. On a Report of Contact (RPOC in MCS or SSA-5002), summarize the available information and fax it into NDRed.

Depending on the determination, take one of the following actions:

  • Deem or develop dependency (as applicable) if you find that the NH is the child’s parent for entitlement purposes;

  • Disallow the child’s claim if you find that the NH is not the child’s parent by following instructions in GN 00306.315; or

  • Reopen a prior determination if you find that the decision was incorrect and according to the rules of administrative finality.

NOTE: If you are unable to decide whether the NH is the child's legal parent, indicate the reason(s) on the RPOC. Request an opinion from the Regional Chief Counsel (RCC) following instructions in GN 01010.815.

GN 00306.315 Disallowing a Title II Child Claim Based on Failure to Establish Relationship

A. Consider all possible means to entitle child to benefits

Before disallowing a child's claim based on failure to establish relationship, explore all possible relationship provisions, consecutively or concurrently.

Review the following instructions to determine if you can establish a parent-child relationship:

If you find there are no definitive instructions to determine conclusively whether the child is or is not the child of the NH, request a legal opinion following instructions in GN 01010.815.

B. Obtain Form SSA-2519 Child Relationship Statement

Before disallowing a claim for not meeting the relationship requirement (disallowance code 32):

  • assist the claimant (as needed) to complete the SSA-2519 (see GN 00306.300); and

  • follow up on information listed on the SSA-2519 that may have a bearing on the child's entitlement.

Fax the signed SSA-2519 into the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed).

C. Document child claims disallowed for not meeting the relationship requirement

Follow the steps in this section to document the claim disallowance when you determine that the child does not meet the relationship requirement for entitlement to Title II child benefits.

Use the disallowance code that corresponds to the parent-child relationship alleged in the claim, even though other relationship provisions have been considered.

1. Claims disallowed under code 32 (does not meet State intestacy or Federal relationship requirement)

Record the following information on the MCS Report of Contact (RPOC) screen (or in item 5 of the SSA-2519 in non-MCS cases):

  • the specific means of meeting the relationship requirement you developed;

  • the specific kinds of evidence you requested;

  • if the evidence was unobtainable, explain why; and

  • if the evidence was unpersuasive, explain why it failed to meet the criteria.

2. Claims disallowed under codes 33 (step-relationship not within time limit), 34 (no step-relationship), and 35 (not adopted child of NH)

Record the following information on the MCS RPOC screen (or on a SSA-5002 Report of Contact in non-MCS cases):

  • the specific means of meeting the relationship requirement you developed;

  • the specific kinds of evidence you requested;

  • if the evidence was unobtainable, explain why; and

  • if the evidence was unpersuasive, explain why it failed to meet the criteria.

For a non-MCS case, fax the SSA-5002 into NDRed.

D. Prepare notices

Designate notice language as appropriate.

In some instances, disallowance notices redirect to the Program Service Center (PSC) because they require manual completion. To allow PSC technicians to include the appropriate reasons in a disallowance notice:

  • Annotate the disallowance reason in the RPOC; and

  • Code the appropriate standard paragraph(s) or dictated paragraph(s) on the Notice 3 (NOT3) screen in MCS.

E. References

  • GN 00306.300 Child Relationship Statement – Form SSA-2519

  • GN 00306.305 Determining Status as Number Holder's Child: When to Request a Legal Opinion


GN 00306 TN 41 - Child Relationship and Dependency - 6/21/2019