TN 35 (08-23)

RS 00202.050 Spouse's Benefits - Evidence and Forms Requirements

A. Policy

Use the guidelines below to determine when evidence is required to support a claimant's entitlement to spouses benefits.

1. Age

Evidence of age is always required if the claimant is age 62 or over (see GN 00302.001).

If the claimant is under age 62, follow RS 00202.060.

2. Marriage

Proof of Marriage is always required (see GN 00305.020 and RS 00202.070).

3. Estrangement

If the claimant is applying as a spouse, is separated from the NH, and there is an indication that the marriage may have ended, develop evidence according to RS 00202.070B.

4. Divorce from NH

Proof of divorce from the NH is always required (see RS 00202.075 and GN 00305.140).

5. Termination of marriage

Proof of termination of marriage is required if:

  • reasonable doubt exists,

  • more than one person is claiming benefits as a legal spouse; or

  • a divorced spouse was married subsequently to their marriage to the NH. If multiple subsequent marriages are involved, secure proof of termination of only the last marriage.

6. Child In care

Evidence of a child in care is always required if the spouse is under age 62 or the (divorced) spouse is age 62 to FRA and alleges a child in care. Follow RS 01310.001 to develop evidence of child in care.

7. Capability/representative payee needed

Evidence is required to support a determination that a (divorced) spouse is not capable of handling their own funds and a representative payee is needed. Follow GN 00502.020 - GN 00502.070 to develop evidence of capability.

B. When to use

MCS DADE screens replace many, but not all, forms used for spouse benefits. Use the following guidelines to determine when specific forms are required in the development of entitlement to spouses benefits.

1. MCS application

An MCS application for spouses benefits or an SSA-2-F6 (Application for Wife's or Husband's Insurance Benefits) is always required unless the claimant does not know whether the NH is alive (see GN 00204.001).

2. SSA-3

SSA-3 (Marriage Certification) is required in spouse's claims to record changes, since adjudication, to the NH's marital history on the NMAR screen (online or archived), SSA-1 (Application for Retirement Insurance Benefits), or SSA-16-F6 (Application for Disability Insurance Benefits). See RS 00202.065A and RS 00202.065B for required supporting documentation.

3. SSA-21

SSA-21 (Supplement to Claim of Person Outside of U.S.) is required if the (divorced) spouse lives outside the U.S. or intends to leave the U.S. (see GN 00205.170 and GN 00205.185).

4. SSA-25

SSA-25 (Certificate of Election for Reduced Spouses Benefits) is required if the already entitled spouse is age 62 but not yet attained full retirement age (FRA) and no longer has an entitled child in care and elects reduced benefits (see RS 00202.055).

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RS 00202.050 - Spouse's Benefits - Evidence and Forms Requirements - 08/29/2023
Batch run: 08/29/2023