When a current spouse on the NH's application is potentially entitled to spouse's benefits, he or she is usually considered to have a protective filing, see GN 00204.010C.1. However, if the NH raises the issue and does not wish to protect the potentially entitled current spouse's filing date, treat the naming of the current spouse as a lead for potential Title II entitlement and process promptly to prevent a loss of benefits.
Pursue a lead if the spouse is not entitled to a spouse’s benefit but could be entitled to a benefit on another SSN.
You must pursue a potentially entitled divorced spouse named on the NH's Title II application as a lead. Information on marriage documentation procedures can be found in GN 00205.070C.
EXAMPLE: Sally Smith (NH) files for retirement benefits and states that she was married to Charlie Smith in 1958 and divorced in 1971. Sally states that Charlie is 66 years old. The information provided by Sally could be a lead for divorced spouse’s benefits for Charlie (BIC-BR) on Sally’s SSN. This is also a lead for Charlie on his own SSN if he has not already filed for retirement insurance benefits (RIB-BIC A). For contacting the proper applicant and documentation information, see GN 00202.020C and GN 00202.020H, both in this section.