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Exception To Nine-Month Duration-of-Marriage Requirement
404.1 What are the exceptions to the nine-month duration-of-marriage requirement?
The nine-month duration-of-marriage requirement in §401(F)(1) is waived if the widow(er) was married to the insured person at the time of the insured person's death and either:
The insured person's death was accidental (see §404.2 below); or
The insured person's death occurred in the line of duty while he or she was a member of a uniformed service serving on active duty; or
The widow(er) was previously married to and divorced from the insured person and the previous marriage had lasted at least nine months; or
Effective for applications filed in or after March 2004,
The insured person had been married prior to his or her marriage to the widow(er); and
The prior spouse was institutionalized during the insured person's marriage to him or her due to mental incompetence or similar incapacity; and
During the period of the prior spouse's institutionalization, the insured person would have divorced the prior spouse and married the surviving spouse, but did not do so because the divorce would have been unlawful, by reason of the institutionalization, under the laws of the State of the insured person's domicile at the time (this determination is based on evidence satisfactory to SSA); and
The prior spouse remained institutionalized up to the time of his or her death; and
The insured person married the widow(er) within 60 days after the prior spouse's death.
Note: The exceptions to the nine-month duration-of-marriage requirement in A., B., and C. above do not apply if, at the time of the marriage, the insured person could not reasonably have been expected to live for nine months.
404.2 When is a death considered "accidental"?
The insured person's death is defined as accidental only if:
He or she received bodily injuries through violent, external, and accidental means;
The insured worker died within three months after the day that the injuries were received; and
The worker's death was a direct result of the bodily injuries, independent of all other causes.
Last Revised: Feb. 4, 2008
- Widow(er) Defined
- Spouse Defined
- Stepchild-Stepparent Relationship
- When is a parent of a deceased person entitled to parent's benefits?
- Social Security Benefits Payable
- Parent Defined
- When is a widow entitled to widow(er)'s insurance benefits?
- When do spouse's and divorced spouse's insurance benefits end?
- When Application Must Be Filed
- When is a spouse entitled to spouse's insurance benefits on the worker's Social Security record?
- Reinstatement of Benefits When Marriage Terminates
- When Evidence of Termination of Prior Marriage is Required
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