Identification Number:
GN 00306 TN 40
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 02 – General
Chapter 003 – Evidence
Subchapter 06 - Child Relationship and Dependency
Transmittal No. 40, 11/2017

Audience

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

Originating Component

OISP

Effective Date

Upon Receipt

Background

This transmittal includes editorial revisions, detailed processing instructions, and updated titles and headings. There are no policy changes.

Summary of Changes

In addition to the specific changes listed below, we made editorial changes throughout these sections to comply with plain writing standards and improve usability. We made no changes to the policy in these sections.

GN 00306.270 Acquiescence Rulings for Title II Child’s Benefits

We made the following updates:


    · Revised title of section and heading for subsection A to more accurately describe content.

    · Added subsection to provide list of acquiescence rulings currently in effect that affect Title II child determinations.




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

We made the following updates:

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

    · Added links to acquiescence rulings listed in the citations.

    · Removed language pertaining to effective date to show this is current policy, as these rulings have been in effect since 1986.

    · Added link to more information on contributions for support.

    · Added more detailed information about preparing and storing special determination.

    · Removed instructions pertaining to SSA-101-U3, which is now obsolete.

    · Added more detailed Field Office (FO) and Processing Center (PC) instructions, correcting or adding links to more information on adverse adjustments or claims as appropriate.



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

We made the following updates:

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

    · Added links to acquiescence rulings listed in the citations.

    · Removed language pertaining to effective date to show this is current policy, as these rulings have been in effect since 1994 or earlier.

    · Added American Samoa and Idaho to the list of states and territories within the Ninth Circuit.

    · Added reference to more information on contributions for support.

    · Added more detailed information about preparing and storing special determination.

    · Removed instructions pertaining to SSA-101-U3, which is now obsolete.

    · Added more detailed Field Office (FO) and Processing Center (PC) instructions, correcting or adding links to more information on adverse adjustments or claims as appropriate.


GN 00306.290 Definition of Number Holder’s Stepchild – Hutcheson v. Califano Acquiescence Ruling for Title II Child’s Benefits

We made the following updates:


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

    · Added links to acquiescence rulings listed in the citations and to information on claims involving stepchild of same-sex relationship.

    · Removed language pertaining to effective date to show this is current policy, as this ruling has been in effect since 1986.

    · Added American Samoa to list of states and territories within the Ninth Circuit.

    · Added more detailed Field Office (FO) and Processing Center (PC) instructions.




GN 00306.270 Acquiescence Rulings for Title II Child’s Benefits

A. Policy regarding acquiescence rulings (AR)

When a United States Court of Appeals issues a decision pertaining to a Social Security Administration (SSA) claim that is in conflict with established SSA policy, we often “acquiesce.” This means that SSA applies the circuit court law, but only for cases within the applicable Federal circuit.

SSA publishes Social Security ARs to describe the subject case and explain how SSA applies the decision within the circuit.

Some Social Security ARs apply to cases within the appropriate circuit at all administrative levels of adjudication, while others may be limited in application to the Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) hearing and the Appeals Council (AC) levels of adjudication. Each AR clearly states the adjudicative levels to which it applies.

B. ARs affecting Title II child determinations

Several ARs regarding chiliads benefits are currently in effect. They influence our “contribution for support” decisions for children and the definition of “stepchild” in certain circuits. For more information on these ARs, refer to:

  • 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) Posthumous Child - Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe Acquiescence Rulings for Title II Child’s Benefits

  • GN 00306.290 Definition of Number Holder’s Stepchild – Hutcheson v. Califano Acquiescence Ruling for Title II Child’s Benefits

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

Citations:

McNeal v. Schweiker, 711 F.2d 18 (3rd Cir. 1983), AR 86-13(3)
Jones v. Secretary HEW, 629 F. 2d 334 (4th Cir. 1980), AR 86-14(4)
Boyland v. Califano, 633 F.2d 430 (6th Cir. 1980), AR 86-15(6)
Childress v. Secretary HEW, 679 F.2d 623 (6th Cir. 1982), AR 86-15(6)
Parker v. Schweiker, 673 F. 2d 160 (6th Cir. 1982), AR 86-15(6)

A. Policy for the McNeal/Jones/Boyland acquiescence rulings (AR)

Follow these instructions to apply the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs.

1. Issue in the McNeal/Jones/Boyland rulings

In the cases listed in the citations, the courts ruled that the proper test of a number holder’s (NH) contributions to the support of a child under Section 216(h)(3)(C)(ii) of the Social Security Act (Act) is whether the contributions were regular and substantial at the time of the NH’s death in relation to:

  • the NH's financial resources,

  • the child's needs, and

  • the financial resources of the family with whom the child resided.

Social Security ARs 86-13(3), 86-14(4), and 86-15(6) incorporate this decision.

2. Applicability of McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs

Apply the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs to cases at all levels of adjudication where the claimant’s state of residence at the time of the determination or decision is in the Third, Fourth, or Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals. These circuits include:

  • Delaware (Third)

  • Kentucky (Sixth)

  • Maryland (Fourth)

  • Michigan (Sixth)

  • New Jersey (Third)

  • North Carolina (Fourth)

  • Ohio (Sixth)

  • Pennsylvania (Third)

  • South Carolina (Fourth)

  • Tennessee (Sixth)

  • U.S. Virgin Islands (Third)

  • Virginia (Fourth)

  • West Virginia (Fourth)

3. Deduction, termination, and nonpayment events for affected cases

For cases affected by the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs:

  • Do not terminate benefits paid based on applying these ARs because the beneficiary no longer resides in the Third, Fourth, or Sixth Circuit.

  • Apply all deduction, suspension, and nonpayment events listed in RS 00203.030 to the beneficiaries entitled under these rulings.

  • Terminate benefits as instructed in RS 00203.035.

B. Field Office (FO) development and processing for cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs

Follow these instructions and the procedures in GN 00306.001D and GN 00306.001E to develop and process cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs.

1. Development for cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs

Consider the financial resources of both the NH and the household in which the child resides when:

  • You develop a parent-child relationship in a claim for surviving child's benefits;

  • Entitlement is possible only under section 216(h)(3)(C)(ii) of the Act; and

  • The NH's income was irregular or insubstantial.

Small contributions to a family with few financial resources constitutes support if it meets an important part of the child's needs. For more information on contributions for support, see RS 01301.005.

Prepare a special determination on a Report of Contact (RPOC) or SSA-553 in all cases. For non-MCS claims, fax the determination into the Non-Disability Repository (NDR) using the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed).

2. Processing awards for cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs

Follow these instructions when processing awards for cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs:

  • Enter the remark “McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs” on the RPOC screen in the Modernized Claims System (MCS), or the REMARKS field on the Benefit Continuity Factors/Remarks/Notice (BCRN) screen or Electronic Form BCRN (EFBCRN) screen when processing claim manually using an Automated 101 (A101) or Electronic Form 101 (EF101).

  • Enter listing code “556” for “McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen in MCS.

  • If entitlement of a child results in an adverse adjustment, follow the procedures in GN 01010.330.

  • If entitlement of a child creates an adverse claim, follow the procedures in GN 01010.320. Forward the claim to the servicing Processing Center (PC) as a District Office Final Authorization (DOFA) exclusion (non-DOFA). Record non-DOFA reason code “3” for “ADVERSE CLM” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen in MCS. For more information on non-DOFA claims, see GN 01010.027.

3. Processing disallowances for cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs

Follow these instructions when processing disallowances for cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs:

  • Before disallowing a claim, consider all options in which we might allow the child’s claim for benefits following the procedures in GN 00306.001D.

  • If there are no such options, disallow the claim under code “32” for “Child illegitimate – no ceremonial marriage – not deemed child.” For information on documenting a code “32” disallowance, see GN 00306.001E.

  • Enter the remark “McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs” on the RPOC screen in MCS.

  • Enter listing code “556” for “McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs” on the DECI screen in MCS.

C. Processing Center (PC) procedures for cases subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARs

Follow these instructions when processing cases in the PC that are subject to the McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARS:

  • List all cases adjudicated under these procedures under listing code “556” for “McNeal/Jones/Boyland ARS.”

  • If the claim results in an adverse adjustment, follow the procedures in GN 01010.335.

  • If entitlement of the child creates an adverse claim, follow the procedures in GN 01010.325.

  • After completing all actions, forward the claim to the benefit authorizer (BA) to summarize the award and, when necessary, adjust the rates to currently entitled beneficiaries. Instruct the BA to list the case under code “556.”

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

Citations:

Adams v. Weinberger, 521 F.2d 656 (2nd Cir. 1975), AR 86-21(2)
Parsons v. Health and Human Services, 762 F.2d 1188 (4th Cir. 1985), AR 86-22(4)
Doran v. Schweiker, 681 F.2d 605 (9th Cir. 1982), AR 86-23(9)
Wolfe v. Sullivan, 988 F.2nd 1025 (10th Cir. 1993), AR 94-1(10)

A. Policy for the Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe acquiescence rulings (AR)

Follow these instructions to apply the Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe ARs.

1. Issue in the Adams/Parsons cases

In the Adams and Parsons cases, the courts ruled that the proper test to determine whether the number holder (NH) was contributing to the support of a posthumous (not posthumously conceived) child under section 216(h)(3)(C)(ii) of the Social Security Act (Act) is whether the support was commensurate with the needs of the unborn child at the time of the NH's death, even though the contributions were not regular or substantial.

2. Issue in the Doran/Wolfe cases

In the Doran and Wolfe cases, the courts ruled that the proper test to determine whether the NH was contributing to the support of a posthumous child is the same as applied in Adams and Parsonsexcept that the economic circumstances of the NH must also be considered in determining whether, at death, the NH was contributing to the support of the unborn child.

3. Applicability of ARs

Apply the Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe ARs at all levels of adjudication if, at the time of such determination or decision, the claimant is residing in one of the states in the pertinent circuits.

a. Adams/Parsons ARs

Apply the Adams/Parsons ARs if the claimant’s state of residence at the time of the determination or decision is one of the states in the Second or Fourth Circuits, which include:

  • Connecticut (Second)

  • Maryland (Fourth)

  • New York (Second)

  • North Carolina (Fourth)

  • South Carolina (Fourth)

  • Vermont (Second)

  • Virginia (Fourth)

  • West Virginia (Fourth)

b. Doran/Wolfe ARs

Apply the Doran/Wolfe ARs if the claimant’s state of residence at the time of the determination or decision is in one of the states in the Ninth or Tenth Circuits, which include:

  • Alaska (Ninth)

  • American Samoa (Ninth)

  • Arizona (Ninth)

  • California (Ninth)

  • Colorado (Tenth)

  • Guam (Ninth)

  • Hawaii (Ninth)

  • Idaho (Ninth)

  • Kansas (Tenth)

  • Montana (Ninth)

  • Nevada (Ninth)

  • New Mexico (Tenth)

  • Northern Mariana Islands (Ninth)

  • Oklahoma (Tenth)

  • Oregon (Ninth)

  • Utah (Tenth)

  • Washington (Ninth)

  • Wyoming (Tenth)

4. Deduction, termination, and nonpayment events for affected cases

For cases affected by the Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe ARs:

  • Do not terminate benefits paid based on applying these ARs because the beneficiary no longer resides in the Second, Fourth, Ninth, or Tenth Circuit.

  • Apply all deduction, suspension, and nonpayment events listed in RS 00203.030 to the beneficiaries entitled under these ARs.

  • Terminate benefits as instructed in RS 00203.035.

B. Field Office (FO) development and processing of cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs

Follow these instructions and the procedures in GN 00306.001D and GN 00306.001E to develop and process cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs.

1. Development for cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs

Obtain satisfactory evidence establishing that the NH is the biological parent of the child and of the type of support, if any, that the NH provided during the mother's pregnancy. Support, depending on the facts of the case, may consist of relatively small cash amounts or support in kind.

Examples of possible support provided by the NH are:

  • Transportation of the mother to the doctor's office,

  • Doctor bills paid related to the pregnancy,

  • Payments toward the hospital bill for birth expenses, and

  • Cash payments to the mother for food and rent.

For more information on contributions for support, see RS 01301.005.

Weigh the contributions provided by the NH against the actual needs of the unborn child on a case-by-case basis to determine if the support, even if irregular or unsubstantial, was commensurate with the unborn child’s needs.

For special development of cases subject to the Doran/Wolfe ARs, see additional instructions in GN 00306.285B.2 in this section.

Prepare a special determination on a Report of Contact (RPOC) or SSA-553 in all cases. For non-MCS claims, fax the determination into the Non-Disability Repository (NDR) using the Non-Disability Repository for Evidentiary Documents (NDRed).

2. Additional instructions for developing cases subject to the Doran/Wolfe ARs

Consider the NH's financial circumstances, i.e. the NH’s ability to contribute, in determining whether the NH was contributing to the unborn child's support in addition to the instructions in GN 00306.285B.1 in this section.

Small contributions by a NH with limited financial resources constitutes support if such support meets an important part of the unborn child's needs.

3. Processing awards for cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs

Follow these instructions when processing awards for cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs:

  • Enter the remark “Adams/Parsons ARs” or “Doran/Wolfe ARs,” as appropriate, on the RPOC screen in the Modernized Claims System (MCS), or the REMARKS field on the Benefit Continuity Factors/Remarks/Notice (BCRN) screen or Electronic Form BCRN (EFBCRN) screen when processing claim manually using an Automated 101 (A101) or Electronic Form 101 (EF101).

  • Enter listing code “246” for “Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe ARs” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen in MCS.

  • If entitlement of a child results in an adverse adjustment, follow the procedures in GN 01010.330.

  • If entitlement of a child creates an adverse claim, follow the procedures in GN 01010.320. Forward the claim to the servicing Processing Center (PC) as a District Office Final Authorization (DOFA) exclusion (non-DOFA). Record non-DOFA reason code “3” for “ADVERSE CLM” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen in MCS. For more information on non-DOFA claims, see GN 01010.027.

4. Processing disallowances for cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs

Follow these instructions when processing disallowances for cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs:

  • Before disallowing a claim, consider all options in which we might allow the child’s claim for benefits following the procedures in GN 00306.001D.

  • If there are no such options, disallow the claim under code “32” for “Child illegitimate – no ceremonial marriage – not deemed child.” For information on documenting a code “32” disallowance, see GN 00306.001E.1.

  • Enter the remark “Adams/Parsons AR” or “Doran/Wolfe AR,” as appropriate, on the RPOC screen in MCS.

  • Enter listing code “246” for “Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe ARs” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen in MCS.

C. Processing Center (PC) procedures for cases subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs

Follow these procedures when processing cases in the PC that are subject to the Adams/Parsons and Doran/Wolfe ARs:

  • List all cases adjudicated under these procedures under listing code “246” for “Adams/Parsons/Doran/Wolfe ARs.”

  • If the claim results in an adverse adjustment, follow the procedures in GN 01010.335.

  • If entitlement of the child creates an adverse claim, follow the procedures in GN 01010.325.

  • After completing all actions, forward the claim to the benefit authorizer (BA) to summarize the award and, when necessary, adjust the rates to currently entitled beneficiaries. Instruct the BA to list the case under code “246.”

GN 00306.290 Definition of Number Holder’s Stepchild – Hutcheson v. Califano Acquiescence Ruling for Title II Child’s Benefits

Citations:

Hutcheson v. Califano, 638 F.2d 96 (9th Cir. 1981), AR 86-12(9)

A. Policy for the Hutcheson acquiescence ruling (AR)

Follow these instructions to apply the Hutcheson AR.

1. Issue in the Hutcheson ruling

In the case of Hutcheson, the court ruled that State law controls the definition of the stepchild-stepparent relationship.

Hutcheson applies only to determine a stepchild relationship. For other factors of entitlement, e.g. duration or dependency, apply standard instructions.

When the claim involves a stepchild of a same-sex relationship, see GN 00210.505.

2. Applicability of the Hutcheson ruling

Apply the Hutcheson ruling at all levels of adjudication if the claimant’s state of residence at the time of the determination or decision is in one of the states in the Ninth Circuit, which include:

  • Alaska

  • American Samoa

  • Arizona

  • California

  • Guam

  • Hawaii

  • Idaho

  • Montana

  • Nevada

  • Northern Mariana Islands

  • Oregon

  • Washington

3. Deduction, termination, and nonpayment events for affected cases

For cases subject to the Hutcheson AR:

  • Do not terminate benefits paid based on applying this ruling because the beneficiary no longer resides in the Ninth Circuit.

  • Apply all deduction, suspension, and nonpayment events listed in RS 00203.030 to the beneficiaries entitled under this ruling.

  • Terminate benefits as instructed in RS 00203.035.

B. Field Office procedures for cases subject to the Hutcheson AR

Follow these instructions and the procedures in GN 00306.001D and GN 00306.001E to develop and process cases subject to the Hutcheson AR.

1. Use State law definition of stepchild relationship for states in the Ninth Circuit

If the appropriate state of domicile is one of the states in the Ninth Circuit, apply the State law of the number holder’s (NH) domicile at the time the application is filed; or, if the NH is deceased, his or her domicile at the time of death according to the State law digest in GN 00306.290C in this section. If there is a definition of stepchild shown for the applicable state, disregard the definition of stepchild in GN 00306.230A.1. If there is no definition of stepchild for the applicable state, follow the instructions in GN 00306.230, including the definition of stepchild in GN 00306.230A.1.

2. Refer cases involving territories in the Ninth Circuit to Regional Chief Counsel (RCC)

If the NH’s domicile is American Samoa, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands, check if an existing opinion in PR 01605.000 applies to the claim. If no such opinion exist, request a Regional Chief Counsel (RCC) opinion. To request a new opinion, refer to instructions in GN 01010.815.

3. Processing awards for cases subject to the Hutcheson AR

Follow these instructions when processing awards for cases subject to the Hutcheson AR:

  • Enter the remark “Hutcheson AR” on the Report of Contact (RPOC) screen in the Modernized Claims System (MCS) or the REMARKS field on the Benefit Continuity Factors/Remarks/Notice (BCRN) screen or Electronic Form BCRN (EFBCRN) when processing the claim manually using an Automated 101 (A101) or Electronic Form 101 (EF101).

  • Enter listing code “555” for “Hutcheson AR” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen in MCS.

  • If entitlement of a child results in an adverse adjustment, follow the procedures in GN 01010.330.

  • If entitlement of a child creates an adverse claim, follow the procedures in GN 01010.320. Forward the claim to the servicing Processing Center (PC) as a District Office Final Authorization (DOFA) exclusion (non-DOFA). Record non-DOFA reason code “3” for “ADVERSE CLM” on the Decision Input (DECI) screen in MCS. For more information on non-DOFA claims, see GN 01010.027.

4. Processing disallowances for cases subject to the Hutcheson AR

Follow these instructions when processing disallowances for cases subject to the Hutcheson AR:

  • Before disallowing the claim, consider all options in which we might allow the child’s claim for benefits following the procedures in GN 00306.001D.

  • If there are no such options, disallow the claim under code “34” for “No step-relationship” following procedures in GN 00306.315. For information on documenting a code “34” disallowance, see GN 00306.001E.2.

  • Enter the remark “Hutcheson AR” on the RPOC screen in MCS.

  • Enter listing code “555” for “Hutcheson AR” on the DECI screen in MCS.

C. Processing Center (PC) procedures for cases subject to the Hutcheson AR

Follow these instructions when processing cases in the PC that are subject to the Hutcheson AR:

  • List all cases adjudicated under these procedures under listing code “555” for “Hutcheson AR.”

  • If the claim results in an adverse adjustment, follow the procedures in GN 01010.335.

  • If entitlement of the child creates an adverse claim, follow the procedures in GN 01010.325.

  • After completing all actions, forward the claim to the benefit authorizer (BA) to summarize the award and, when necessary, adjust the rates to currently entitled beneficiaries. Instruct the BA to list the case under code “555.”

D. Stepparent and stepchild definitions - State law digest

State

Definition of stepparent by State law

Alaska

A stepparent is the spouse of a natural parent of the child residing in the same household.

Arizona

Arizona does not define stepparent; however, stepchild is a child of the decedent’s surviving, deceased, or former spouse and not of the decedent.

California

A person becomes a stepparent by marrying the natural parent of the child, and the stepparent-stepchild relationship terminates upon the termination of that marriage.

Hawaii

Hawaii does not define stepparent; however, stepchild is defined as a child of the decedent’s surviving, deceased, or former spouse and not of the decedent.

Idaho

Idaho does not define stepparent nor stepchild. Apply the standard stepchild relationship requirements in GN 00306.230.A.1.

Montana

Montana does not define stepparent nor stepchild. Apply the standard stepchild relationship requirements in GN 00306.230.A.1.

Nevada

Nevada does not define stepparent nor stepchild. Apply the standard stepchild relationship requirements in GN 00306.230.A.1.

Oregon

A stepparent is the spouse of either the natural or adoptive parent.

Washington

A stepparen is the present spouse of the person who is either the mother, father, or adoptive parent of a dependent child.


GN 00306 TN 40 - Child Relationship and Dependency -