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Excerpted from "Social Security Handbook". See the up-to-date, official Social Security Handbook at

When is a child presumed "dependent"?

334. When is a child presumed "dependent"?

A child is presumed "dependent" upon the worker if:

  1. The child has not been legally adopted by someone other than the worker during the worker's lifetime; and

  2. The child is one of the following:

    1. The legitimate child of the worker;

    2. A child born out of wedlock who would have the right under applicable State law to inherit intestate property from the worker as a child;

    3. The child of a void or voidable marriage;

    4. The child of an invalid ceremonial marriage;

    5. A deemed child under section 216(h)(3) of the Social Security Act, under certain circumstances (see §324 (E)); or

    6. The legally adopted child of the worker adopted before the worker's entitlement to benefits.

Note: A natural or legally adopted child who was legally adopted by someone other than the worker during the worker's lifetime must have been living with or receiving contributions from the worker at the applicable time.

Last Revised: Feb. 6, 2003

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survior benefits

July 9, 2012 by Guest

what if a child has your dead husband's name on her birth certificate but he was not ordered or paying child suport at the time of his death because he wasn't the father to her and never met her and was not supporting her? The mother to the child lied and tried to get him to pay child support but the case was dropped?

Paternity issues and survivor benefits

July 9, 2012 by David Luhman

This is something you will want to work directly with Social Security or perhaps another adviser such as a lawyer.

Generally, the SSA will require documentation (signed birth certificate, DNA tests etc.) proving paternity. What exactly determines paternity varies from state to state.

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