TN 37 (08-23)

RS 00202.070 Spouse's Benefits - Proof of Marriage

A. Policy

The spouse's statement on the application that they were ceremonially married to the NH may generally be accepted as proof if it is confirmed in writing by the worker.

1. General

The statements on marriage will not be accepted as proof and other evidence of marriage is required when:

  1. a. 

    The file raises some doubt of the relationship;

  2. b. 

    The marriage took place less than 2 years before the day on which application for spouse's benefits is filed;

  3. c. 

    Either the NH or the spouse is incapable of handling benefits; or

  4. d. 

    The spouse is claiming benefits as a deemed or divorced spouse.

2. Documentation

Always include in the file documentary evidence offered by the claimant.

A divorce decree may be acceptable proof of marriage if:

  • it contains sufficient information to determine that the marriage lasted at least 10 years; and

  • there is no reason to doubt the decree.

Obtain proof of marriage if doubt is raised.

If the current claim and supporting evidence raise a question as to the validity of the marriage, and the NH was married to the current claimant when their original claim was filed, get any archived material. After unarchiving the material, follow the instructions in RS 00202.065B.

B. Procedure

If there is information beyond the mere fact of separation indicating that the spouse-claimant's marriage to the NH may have terminated, get explanatory statements from both parties to establish that the marriage has not terminated.

Include in the statements:

  • the length of the separation; and

  • whether either obtained a divorce from the other; or

  • whether either had ever received notice of any kind that the other attempted to get a divorce or had obtained one.

C. Reference

GN 00305.005 - Determining Marital Status

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RS 00202.070 - Spouse's Benefits - Proof of Marriage - 08/29/2023
Batch run: 08/29/2023