Basic (09-87)

GN 00302.460 Discrepancy in Claimant's Name — Minor Differences

A. Definition

A minor difference is one that is obvious, easily explainable, and raises no doubt that the record pertains to the claimant.

B. Types of minor name differences

The following list contains examples of minor differences; other types of minor differences may exist.

Type of Difference Additional Information And Examples

Omitted surname

  • Assume the child's surname is the same as the father's absent information to the contrary.

  • If the father's name is not shown, assume the child's surname is the same as the mother's surname.

  • If the alleged surname at birth does not match the assumed surname, the discrepancy is major (see GN 00302.470 for required development.)

Different spelling of the same name

  • Mary Ann/Marianne

  • Catherine/Katherine

  • John/Jon

Nickname commonly derived from the name

  • Sarah/Sally

  • Theodore/Ted

  • Edward/Ned

English equivalent of a foreign given name

  • Pablo/Paul

  • Guillermo/William

  • Elsa/Alice

    NOTE: Questionable situations may be resolved by consulting the reference entitled "Foreign Versions, Variations and Diminutives of English Names" in the PC reference room.


Simplified versions of a foreign surname

  • Don Giovanni/Giovanni

  • Del Leon/Leon

  • Von Burgdorf/Burgdorf

    NOTE: Be careful when assessing the difference in a person's surname. If the surname on the record is very different from the one the claimant uses (e.g., Jelieniweski/Jelen; Abramowitz/Abrams) the discrepancy is major (see GN 00302.470 for required development).

Married woman's maiden name The discrepancy is resolved if the name shown on the record agrees with the answer to the name-at-birth question on the application.

Birth or religious record amended by the official custodian to add an omitted given name or to change a given name

The difference is minor if:

  • The record was amended at least 5 years before the current filing date, or

  • A more recent amendment is shown on the record to be based on a 5-year old (or older) document, and

  • In the case of a given name change, the basis for the change is shown on the record.

    NOTE: When the amended record is for a child who is under age 5, the supporting documentation shown on the record may be less than 5 years old.

    However, where there is no supporting documentation for the addition of the name for a child under age 5, or where the birth record was amended recently based on recent evidence, the discrepancy is major (see GN 00302.470).


C. Development required

No development is required to resolve a minor name difference.

D. Important

If you are not sure whether a difference is major or minor, treat the difference as major, and see GN 00302.470 for required development.

To Link to this section - Use this URL:
GN 00302.460 - Discrepancy in Claimant's Name — Minor Differences - 06/06/2006
Batch run: 01/23/2013