A child cannot be entitled to benefits based upon the earnings record of a former
stepparent divorced from the child's parent (unless entitlement can be established
within the retroactive life of the application at a point before the divorce).
A divorce ending the stepparent and the stepchild’s parent or adoptive parent’s marriage
(including invalid ceremonial marriage) to the stepparent will terminate the child's
benefits for a stepchild if the divorce becomes final July 1996 or later. The stepchild's
entitlement will terminate the month after the month in which the divorce becomes
final, i.e., the month of divorce will be the last month of entitlement. The month
of the divorce is the last month for which benefits are payable to the stepchild on
the NH's record. This provision was contained in section 104 of P.L. 104-121. See
instructions for processing post-entitlement reports of divorce in GN 02602.400.
EXAMPLE: The NH’s stepchild is entitled to child’s benefits on the NH’s record. The NH’s marriage
to the stepchild’s parent ends due to divorce on November 08, 2015. The stepchild’s
benefits will terminate December 2015, the month after the month the divorce was final.
November 2015 is the last month for which the stepchild receives a benefit (payable
in December 2015).
If the marriage between the stepchild's parent and the NH ended in a divorce finalized
before July 1996, the divorce will not terminate the stepchild's benefits
CAUTION: A stepchild legally adopted by the NH may qualify for benefits as the NH’s adopted
If a stepchild's benefits are terminated due to the parent's divorce and the parents
later remarry each other, the stepchild cannot become reentitled unless the requirements
are met in Child’s Benefits-Reentitlement Requirements in RS 00203.015A.1. If the requirements are met, the stepchild would also have to meet a new duration-of-relationship