SSR 76-42: Section 1614(d)(2) (42 U.S.C. 1382c(d)(2))—Supplemental Security Income—Eligibility-Marital Relationship
20 CFR 416.1003(c), 416.1005(a)(1), 416.1007, 416.1035, and 416.1185(a)
The claimant lives in the same household with a person of the opposite sex and they are known throughout the community in which they live as man and wife. The claimant contends she is not in a husband-wife relationship with the person with whom she has been living because she is still legally married to another man. Held, the claimant is determined to be in a marital relationship for Supplemental Security Income purposes as defined by Section 1614(d)(2) of the Social Security Act, as amended.
The claimant stated that she has lived with W since 1945 following a separation from her lawful husband. "I began living with W and have lived with him since then (1945)—although we have never been married. W and I have four children; two of them still live at home with us. He lists me as his wife on his income tax returns, we have a joint checking account and our car is in both our names."
A copy of W's wage and tax statement discloses that he earned $15,501.95 in 1974. In addition, a receipt of rent disclosed that the lessor of the claimant's premises referred to the claimant and W as Mrs. and Mrs. W.
On July 10, 1975, the claimant responded to a series of five questions propounded by the Social Security Administration in order to determine the claimant's living arrangements and marital status. In this document the claimant stated that ". . . sometimes we call ourselves Mr. and Mrs. but mostly we introduce ourselves by first names." When asked how the mail is addressed to the claimant and W, the claimant responded ". . .sometimes it's addressed to Mr. and Mrs. W."
20 C.F.R. 416.1003(c) states that a man and a woman are 'holding themselves out as husband and wife' if they represent themselves as husband and wife (or as married to each other) to relatives, friends, neighbors or tradespeople with whom they do business.
20 C.F.R. 416.1005(a)(1) defines a marital relationship for supplemental security income purposes to include individuals that are living together in the same household, and holding themselves out to the community in which they reside as husband and wife.
20 C.F.R. 416.1007 states that if a man and woman are living together in the same household, and holding themselves out to the community in which they reside as husband and wife, they shall be considered husband and wife for the purpose of Title XVI of the Act. Where a man and woman living together in the same household allege as in this case that they are not husband and wife and that they are not holding themselves out as such to the community in which they reside, then they must establish such in accordance with 20 C.F.R. 416.1035(b).
The evidence is clear that under title XVI of the Social Security Act as amended a marital relationship between claimant and W has been established. The information supplied pursuant to the requirements of 20 C.F.R. 416.1035(b) discloses the claimant lives in the same household with the ineligible individual and they hold themselves out to the community in which they reside as husband and wife. The mail is often addressed to Mr. and Mrs. W and he includes the claimant as a dependent wife on his tax returns. In addition, the parties hold themselves out to the community as husband and wife when being introduced to other people.
As a result of the claimant's relationship with W, W's income is deemed to be income to the claimant as required by Regulations No. 16, section 416.1185(a). It is therefore held that the claimant is not entitled to Supplemental Security Income benefits because of excess income.