Child's Social Security Benefits and Presumption of Legitimacy - Melvin
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Child’s Social Security Benefits and Presumption of Legitimacy

by Melvin Cook

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G began living with R in Colorado in 1957. They moved to Arizona in 1958, where G gave birth to a child, C. R lived with and supported G and C until November 1959, when he left the household.

R moved back to Colorado, where he passed away in February 1967. At the time of R’s death, G and her child C also resided in Colorado. G applied for child’s social security benefits on behalf of C based on R’s earnings record.

The question was whether or not C qualified as R’s child for social security purposes. Quaintly, before the U.S. Supreme Courts case of Trimble v. Gordon (which prohibited discrimination in state inheritance laws based on legitimacy status of children), this used to be a perplexing question because of various state legitimacy laws.

The question was whether or not C would quality to inherit personal property from R based on Colorado’s laws of inheritance.

Colorado would apply the law of the state of the child’s birth, namely Arizona. Arizona’s laws strongly favored a presumption of legitimacy. Therefore, applying Arizona law, C qualified to inherit from R under Colorado law.

Because of this, C was considered R’s child for social security purposes and therefore qualified for child’s social security benefits.

See Social Security Ruling (SSR) 68-73.

This material should not be construed as legal advice for any particular fact situation, but is intended for general informational purposes only. For advice specific to any individual situation, an experienced attorney should be contacted.

Contact a Salt Lake City Attorney Committed to Protecting Your Rights

When it comes the family law and social security disability, each client and case is different. It is also important to select an attorney with the experience, skills and professionalism required to address your legal issues. To learn more, contact the Salt Lake City law offices of Melvin A. Cook and schedule an initial consultation to discuss your case.

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