PROGRAM OPERATIONS MANUAL SYSTEMPart GN – GeneralChapter 003 – EvidenceSubchapter 06 – Child Relationship and DependencyTransmittal No. 44, 12/17/2020
Summary of Changes
GN 00306.250 Proof of Death/Disability of Natural or Adopting Parents
This is a Quick Action Transmittal. These revisions do not change or introduce new policy or procedure.
Generally the natural or adopting parents will be identified in the evidence obtained per GN 00306.240.
Establish the death of the natural mother.
If the natural father's identity is known, establish his death.
If the natural father's identity is unknown, try to find it out by contacting the grandchild's mother; the person filing on behalf of the child; the NH; his spouse; or any other readily available person who might be reasonably expected to know. Follow these guidelines:
Accept a statement by the grandchild's mother or by the applicant (if the mother is deceased, incompetent, or unavailable) as to the father's identity, in the absence of information to the contrary.
If the applicant does not know the father's identity, or there is evidence to dispute the mother's or applicant's allegations, explore other possible sources of evidence (e.g., hospital, church or school records; or a court decree or order) and make a finding of paternity whenever possible.
When information in file does not clearly show all efforts to identify the father, document the file regarding the action taken.
If you cannot determine the father's identity after full development, assume he was deceased at the applicable time.
If the whereabouts of the identified father are unknown or there is no proof of death, you may not assume that he is deceased, except as provided in GN 00304.050. However, before denying the child's claim:
Try to determine the father's SSN (ask the NH for identifying information).
Use the Earnings Queries (EQ) application to determine whether the father's ER has postings for a quarter after the one in which the NH became entitled to RIB, DIB, died, or became disabled.
If so, or if the parent died after those dates, deny the claim. If not, obtain the name of the father's last known employer from the EQ application and develop accordingly.
If you are unable to obtain the necessary information from the EQ application, contact OCRO.
Establish the natural father's death.
If the child's BC is not available to identify the child's mother, establish her identity using the same general guidelines for identifying the natural father described in GN 00306.250A.1.c. above.
Establish the death of both adopting parents.
If neither adopting parent is also the child's natural parent, it is immaterial whether the child's natural parents are deceased.
If one parent adopted his/her spouse's natural child, establish the death of both the adopting parent and the natural parent.
In the rare case in which an individual adopted the child without being joined by the spouse (if any), establish the death of the adopting parent only.
Obtain evidence to identify and establish the death of the natural or adopting parent to whom the NH's or spouse's child was married. The stepparent need not be deceased.
Establish the death of the child's other natural or adopting parent (if any), if identified by evidence in file. If unidentified, follow GN 00306.250A.1.c. to try to find out the other parent's identity and if he/she is deceased. If reasonable efforts do not identify the child's other parent, assume he/she was deceased at the applicable time.
If it is alleged that the natural or adoptive parents are disabled:
Determine whether a disability determination has ever been made under section 221 of the Act (HA, DWB, CDB, or freeze).
If the parent is or was disabled as defined in section 223(d) of the Act, check the date of onset on the MBR to determine if he/she was disabled at the time specified in GN 00306.235A.1.
Process the claim accordingly.
Consider a parent disabled for purposes of a child's entitlement as a grandchild if:
The parent was receiving title XVI benefits at the time specified in GN 00306.235A.1. on the basis of a disability; and
The statutory basis of disability is identical to section 223(d) of the Act; i.e., the former State definition of disability is not the basis of title XVI eligibility.
An individual receiving title XVI benefits based on blindness or visual impairment does not automatically meet the disability requirements of section 223(d). Submit such cases to the Disability Determination Services for a disability determination under section 223(d) of the Act.
The parent's claim based on a disability was denied because he/she was not disabled, and
The determination was made in or after the month specified in GN 00306.235A.1.
Annotate the file, and
Disallow the grandchild's claim.
There has never been a prior disability determination, or
The prior claim based on disability was denied for a nondisability reason, or
The denial for disability reasons was made prior to the month specified in GN 00306.235A.1.
Develop the disability issues using the normal procedures (i.e., disability interview, etc.).
If the parent wishes to file for disability, disabled widow's or disabled child's benefits, take a claim and develop as usual.
Follow the procedures in DI 11025.030 ff.
If you receive a claim involving a dependent grandchild and a disabled parent, check to see if the established onset date is prior to the time specified in GN 00306.235A.1. Process the claim accordingly.