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BOYD v. FOLSOM

April 5, 1957

Ann M. BOYD, Plintiff,
v.
Marion B. FOLSOM, Secretary of Health, Education and Welfare of the United States of America, Washington, D.C., Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GOURLEY

The matters before the court relate to motions for summary judgment presented by each party. The facts are not in dispute. The proceeding in reality is brought to review a decision of the Social Security Administration. *fn1" The Agency disallowed claims of the widow, Ann M. Boyd, for:

(a) Claims on behalf of herself as a surviving widow of a deceased wage earner.

 (b) Claim on behalf of two children of a previous marriage (step-children of the deceased wage earner).

 (c) Lump-sum payments to a widow as provided by the Act.

 The reviewing authority of the District Court is not unlimited for it may not substitute its inferences for those of the representatives of the Agency which are supported by substantial evidence. Warrenberger v. Folsom, 3 Cir., 239 F.2d 846; Ferenz v. Folsom, 3 Cir., 237 F.2d 46; Livingstone v. Folsom, 3 Cir., 234 F.2d 75.

 The sole question before the court is whether the findings of the Agency, that the claimant and the wage earner's two step-children were not living with the deceased wage earner at the time of his death as required by the statute, are supported by a reasonable basis in law and by substantial evidence in the record. If so, the decision of the Agency must be affirmed.

 I find that as a matter of law the conclusions reached by the Agency are inconsistent with and contrary to the intent of the Act, and that the judgment in favor of the Agency was not based upon or supported by substantial evidence.

 The provisions of law which relate to the questions posed are:

 (a) Claim for widow's benefits.

 Section 202(g) of the Social Security Act provides, in pertinent part, that the widow of an individual who died fully insured shall be entitled to mother's insurance benefits if, among other conditions, at the time of filing application she has in her care a child of the insured individual entitled to a child's insurance benefit and if the widow was living with the insured at the time of his death. 42 U.S.C.A. § 402(g).

 Section 216(h)(2) of the Act provides, in pertinent part, that a widow shall be deemed to have been living with her husband at the time of his death if they were both members of the same household on the date of his death, or she was receiving regular contributions from him toward her support on such date, or he had been ordered by any court to contribute to her support.

 (b) Claim of widow on behalf of two step-children of deceased wage earner.

 Section 216(e) of Social Security Act defines the term 'child' to include the step-child of a deceased individual who has been such step-child for not less than one year immediately preceding the day on which such individual died. 42 U.S.C.A. § 416(e).

 Section 202(d) of the Act provides, in pertinent part, for the payment of benefits to the child (under eighteen years of age) of a fully insured individual, provided such child was dependent upon such individual at the ...


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