Social Security Benefits
January 25, 2011 by USA Post
Social Security Benefits, (AP) - A woman from New Jersey can apply for social security benefits for twins conceived in vitro after the death of her husband, but she must first prove they were in charge when he died, a court U.S. Appeals has ruled.
Karen continued Capato mark just the latest example of the law struggling to keep pace with technology, reproductive and other.
At least four families have sued the Social Security Administration to obtain benefits for children conceived after their fathers died. Three are still pending, but the agency now honors such allegations in the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, where a woman has chaired Arizona in a case dating from 2005.
Given the split, some expect the issue to reach the U.S. Supreme Court.
“We … cannot help but note that this is indeed a new world “, Third U.S. Circuit Court Judge Maryanne Trump Barry wrote in an opinion Wednesday.
“This case – a case about the rights of posthumously conceived children of a deceased employee and her widow – obliges us to consider the intersection of new reproductive technologies and what is necessary to qualify for survivor benefits Children under the Social Security Act, “she writes.
The unanimous three-judge panel said there is no doubt the twins are 7 years of Capato biological children and her husband, Robert, died in 2002. They were conceived with sperm frozen before he began treatment for cancer of the esophagus in Florida.
Reverse the lower court judge in New Jersey; the group said they should therefore be considered as her children for social security.
But they said Capato must now prove, in another part of the rules of social security, the twins were “deemed dependent or dependent” at the time of her death.
His lawyer believes it can.
“I think most people would agree that children … are obviously dependent on their parents’ attorney Bernard A. Kuttner of Millburn, NJ, said Thursday. “I do not know many newborns are able to pay for their own food and housing and medical care.”
He believes that such cases may become more common in military families, as soldiers choose to store sperm before deploying to war zones.
The Social Security Administration said it does not track the number of requests for posthumous conception received or, in the 9th Circuit, agreed. The circuit also includes California, Nevada, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Washington and Alaska.
Capato argued that the unequal treatment of a condition to be unconstitutional, but Social Security has stated that its dependency rules follow the laws of State succession, which vary.
Robert Capato, who ran a health club business, died in March 2002 in Florida. The twins were born in September 2003 in New Jersey. Reportedly, Capato froze her sperm because he wanted their son born in 2001 to have a brother. He had planned to name their unborn children in her will, but the only named beneficiaries are her wife, their son and her two children from a previous marriage.
Florida law expressly bars the children conceived posthumously inheritance, unless they are designated in a will, according to court documents in the case. In New Jersey, they can be considered as heirs, Kuttner said.
Karen Capato tried to argue that her husband was a New Jersey resident when he died, because they intended to settle there. However, District Judge Dennis M. Cavanaugh was not convinced, noting that her will was executed in Florida. Kuttner has refused to disclose where her client lives now.
The case now returns to the court Cavanaugh. The Department of Justice, which argued the case, said only that he was reviewing the opinion.
However, in a memorandum, Justice lawyers said eligibility rules are designed to protect public funds while helping children.
“In addition to protecting the trust funds of Social Security eligibility requirements are substantially related to important governmental objective of using reasonable assumptions to limit benefits to those children who have lost the support of a parent,” they write.
Copyright © 2011 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
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