There is nothing in the record to indicate a repudiation of marital obligations, no break in the connubial relations, no legal separation, no release of matrimonal duties, no estrangement, but, on the contrary, a recognition of mutual respect and admiration of their marriage vows and of their responsibility to rear, supervise, maintain and keep together their respective children.
So when examination is made of the nature and character of their married life and their intention relative thereto, it is apparent that while they were not at all times living physically in the same abode, yet they were in fact living with each other in the same household within the spirit and substance of living with each other.
I conclude there is not substantial evidence in the record to support the finding that the widow is not entitled to mother's insurance benefits on her own behalf or to child's insurance on behalf of Robert G. and Donna G. Myers, step-children of the deceased wage earner. Furthermore, the lump-sum payments as a matter of law were not properly awarded to Frank M. Boyd, a child of the previous marriage of the wage earner, but should have been awarded to the claimant, Ann M. Boyd, the surviving widow.
Therefore, as a matter of law the claimant is entitled to payment of mother's and child's insurance benefits together with lump-sum settlement pursuant to law.
As provided by Section 202(g), 42 U.S.C.A. § 402(g), claimant had in her care children of the insured entitled to child's insurance benefits and she was living with the insured at the time of his death.
As provided by Section 216(h)(2), 42 U.S.C.A. § 416(h)(2), claimant widow and wage earner were living together at the time of death of wage earner as members of the same household. Claimant was also receiving regular contributions from wage earner toward her support at time of his death through arrangements made and agreed to with appropriate authorities of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania by the deceased wage earner. Claimant prosecuted wage earner for support but no court order was entered due to his physical condition -- said prosecution for support, in reality, resulted in a court order since the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania paid the widow assistance.
As provided by Section 216(e), 42 U.S.C.A. § 416(e), the two step-children were children under the Act for more than a year prior to death of wage earner.
As provided by Section 202(c), 42 U.S.C.A. § 402(c), said children were dependent upon wage earner at time of his death.
As provided by Section 202(d)(4) said step-children were living with the deceased wage earner, and were receiving at least one-half of their support from such step-father.
As provided by Section 202(i), 42 U.S.C.A. § 402(i), the claimant as the widow of the deceased wage earner was living with the deceased at the time of his death.
An appropriate Order is entered.