20 CFR 404.1607
C, a female adult disabled child of deceased wage earner, is confined in a State mental hospital, having been adjudicated a mental incompetent. On January 15, 1967, she gave birth to an illegitimate child. The State institution, named as representative payee pursuant to section 205(j) of the Social Security Act, put the baby in a hospital until February 16, 1967, when responsibility for the child was transferred to a welfare agency. The representative payee is being held responsible for the hospital bill in the amount of $719. The payee presently has $500 of conserved funds of the beneficiary and has requested advise as to whether he may use part of it to help pay this hospital bill.
Section 205(j) of the Act provides that when it appears that the interest of a beneficiary would be served thereby, certification of payment may be made either for direct payment to such beneficiary or for his use and benefit to a relative or some other person. Payments are considered for the use and benefit of the beneficiary when, among other-purposes, they are used for the support of a person whom the beneficiary is legally obligated to support. Thus § 404.1607 of the Social Security Administration Regulations No. 4 (20 CFR 404.1607) provides that where current maintenance needs of a beneficiary are being reasonably met, part of the beneficiary's payments may be used for the support of the legally dependent spouse, a legally dependent child or a legally dependent parent of the beneficiary.
Whether C's child is a legally dependent child depends on applicable State law, in this case that of Illinois. Chapter 68, § 52 of Smith-Hurd Illinois Annotated Status defines which persons are legally liable for support of dependents, and in pertinent part states:
And further, the 1967 Illinois Public Aid Code § 10-2 states:
The question to be resolved, therefore, is whether under those sections of Illinois law the illegitimate child of an adult childhood disability beneficiary may be considered a "legally dependent child" within the meaning of that phrase in section 404.1607 of the Social Security Administration Regulations cited above.
Under Illinois law, a natural parent is legally obligated to support his or her minor child born out of wedlock where the child is likely to become a public charge, regardless of the mental capacity of the parent, as long as the parent has the financial capacity to provide the child's support. Accordingly, it is held that the child of the beneficiary is a "legally dependent child" for whose support conserved benefits may properly be expended within the meaning of the cited regulations, provided the current and reasonably foreseeable maintenance needs of the beneficiary are met.
Back to Table of Contents