Photo Credit: Getty Images
Most moms will do just about anything for their kids, so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Associated Press recently reported that a New Jersey mom is seeking her late hubby’s Social Security benefits for her twins. The twist: The babies were conceived after his death, via in vitro fertilization. And in order to win her case, the mom has to prove her kids were dependents when her husband died, according to a U.S. appeals court ruling.
I’m no lawyer, but… how could you possibly do that?
Further complicating the case is the fact that Social Security “dependency rules follow state inheritance laws, which vary.” In New Jersey (the twins’ birth state), the kids can be considered heirs. In Florida, where the family lived before the husband’s death, they can’t -- unless they were already named in a will.
This isn’t the only case of its kind: According to the AP report, “At least four families have sued the Social Security Administration to secure benefits for children conceived after their fathers died.”
I’m not sure what to think about this case. I feel for the mom, who lost her life partner and decided to give their older child siblings -- something that her husband apparently wanted. And the fact that Social Security child survivor benefits hinge on the arbitrariness of state inheritance laws seems sort of unfair. (It’s Social Security. Shouldn’t it be the same everywhere?) On the other hand, her choice to add to her family as a single parent was just that -- a choice.
What do you think? Should this mom win her case? Chime in below!