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Electronic Code of Federal Regulations

e-CFR data is current as of February 14, 2020

Title 5Chapter ISubchapter BPart 843 → Subpart D


Title 5: Administrative Personnel
PART 843—FEDERAL EMPLOYEES RETIREMENT SYSTEM—DEATH BENEFITS AND EMPLOYEE REFUNDS


Subpart D—Child Annuities


Contents
§843.401   Purpose.
§843.402   Eligibility requirements.
§843.403   Proof of parentage.
§843.404   Proof of adoption.
§843.405   Dependency.
§843.406   Proof of dependency.
§843.407   Disabilities.
§843.408   Commencing and terminating dates of child annuities.
§843.409   Rates of annuities.
§843.410   Annuity for a child age 18 to 22 during full-time school attendance.
§843.411   Direct payments to children.

§843.401   Purpose.

This subpart explains the survivor benefits payable under FERS to children based on the deaths of employees and retirees.

§843.402   Eligibility requirements.

A surviving child of an employee or retiree who dies after completing 18 months of civilian service creditable under FERS is entitled to an annuity under this subpart.

§843.403   Proof of parentage.

(a) A judicial determination of parentage conclusively establishes the paternity of a child.

(b) Except as provided in paragraph (a) of this section, a child born to the wife of a married person is presumed to be the child of the wife's husband. This presumption may be rebutted only by clear and convincing evidence that the husband is not the father of the child.

(c) When paternity is not established under paragraph (a) or (b) of this section, paternity is determined by a preponderance of the credible evidence as defined in §1201.56(c)(2) of this title.

§843.404   Proof of adoption.

(a) An adopted child is—

(1) A child adopted by the employee or retiree before the death of the employee or retiree; or

(2) A child who lived with the employee or retiree and for whom a petition for adoption was filed by the employee or retiree and who is adopted by the current spouse of the employee or retiree after the death of the employee or retiree.

(b) The only acceptable evidence to prove status as an adopted child under paragraph (a)(1) of this section is a copy of the judicial decree of adoption.

(c) The only acceptable evidence to prove status as an adopted child under paragraph (a)(2) of this section is copies of—

(1) The petition for adoption (clearly showing the date filed); and

(2) The judicial decree of adoption.

§843.405   Dependency.

To be eligible for survivor annuity benefits, a child must have been dependent on the employee or retiree at the time of the employee's or retiree's death.

§843.406   Proof of dependency.

(a) A child is considered to have been dependent on the deceased employee or retiree if he or she is—

(1) A legitimate child; or

(2) An adopted child; or

(3) A stepchild or recognized natural child who lived with the employee or retiree in a regular parent-child relationship at the time of the employee's or retirees death; or

(4) A recognized natural child for whom a judicial determination of support was obtained; or

(5) A recognized natural child to whose support the employee or retiree made regular and substantial contributions.

(b) The following are examples of proofs of regular and substantial support. More than one of the following proofs may be required to show support of a natural child who did not live with the employee or retiree in a regular parent-child relationship and for whom a judicial determination of support was not obtained.

(1) Evidence of eligibility as a dependent child for benefits under other State or Federal programs;

(2) Proof of inclusion of the child as a dependent on the decedent's income tax returns for the years immediately before the employee's or retiree's death;

(3) Cancelled checks, money orders, or receipts for periodic payments received from the employee or retiree for or on behalf of the child;

(4) Evidence of goods or services that show regular contributions of considerable value;

(5) Proof of coverage of the child as a family member under the employee's or retiree's Federal Employees Health Benefits enrollment; and

(6) Other proof of a similar nature that OPM may find to be sufficient to demonstrate support or parentage.

(c) Survivor benefits may be denied—

(1) If evidence shows that the deceased employee or retiree did not recognize the claimant as his or her own despite a willingness to support the child; or

(2) If evidence casts doubt upon the parentage of the claimant, despite the deceased employee's or retiree's recognition and support of the child.

§843.407   Disabilities.

A child is eligible for continued annuity because the child is incapable of self-support if the Social Security Administration finds that the child is eligible for continued social security child's benefits because the child is incapable of self-support.

§843.408   Commencing and terminating dates of child annuities.

(a) An annuity under this subpart—

(1) Commences on the day after the retiree or employee dies;

(2) Commences or resumes on the first day of the month in which the child later becomes or again becomes a student as described by §843.313, if any lump sum paid is returned to the Civil Service Retirement Fund; or

(3) Commences or resumes on the first day of the month in which the child later becomes or again becomes incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability incurred before age 18 (or a later recurrence of such disability), if any lump sum is returned to the Fund.

(b) An annuity under this subpart terminates on the last day of the month before the child—

(1) Becomes 18 years of age unless he or she is a student as described in §843.410 or is incapable of self-support;

(2) Becomes capable of self-support after becoming 18 years of age unless he or she is a student as described in §843.410;

(3) Becomes 22 years of age if he or she is a student as described in §843.410 and—

(i) Capable of self-support; or

(ii) Incapable of self-support because of a mental or physical disability incurred after age 18;

(4) Ceases to be such a student as described in §843.410 after becoming 18 years of age unless he or she is incapable of self-support; or

(5) Dies or marries.

(c) A survivor annuity accrues on a daily basis, one-thirtieth of the monthly rate constituting the daily rate. An annuity does not accrue for the 31st day of any month, except in the initial month if the survivor's (of a deceased employee) annuity commences on the 31st day. For accrual purposes, the last day of a 28-day month constitutes 3 days and the last day of a 29-day month constitutes 2 days.

§843.409   Rates of annuities.

(a) For each month, the amount of annuity payable to each surviving child under this subpart is—

(1) The difference between the basic child's annuity rate for that month and the total amount of child's insurance benefits under title II of the Social Security Act payable for that month to all children of the employee or retiree based on the total earnings (including any non-Federal wages or self employment subject to FICA taxes) of the employee or retiree;

(2) Divided by the total number of children entitled to annuity based on the service of that employee or retiree.

(b) On the death of the current spouse or the former spouse or termination of the annuity of a child, the annuity of any other child or children is recomputed and paid as though the spouse, former spouse, or child had not survived the former employee or Member.

§843.410   Annuity for a child age 18 to 22 during full-time school attendance.

(a) General requirements for an annuity. (1) For a child age 18 to 22 to be eligible to receive an annuity as a full-time student, the child must also meet all other requirements applicable to qualify for an annuity by a child who has not attained age 18.

(2) In addition to the requirements of paragraph (a)(1) of this section, OPM must receive certification, in a form prescribed by OPM, that the child is regularly pursuing a full-time course of study in an accredited institution.

(b) Full-time course of study. (1) Generally, a full-time course of study is a noncorrespondence course which, if successfully completed, will lead to completion of the education within the period generally accepted as minimum for completion, by a full-time day student, of the academic or training program concerned.

(2) A certification by an accredited institution that the student's workload is sufficient to constitute a full-time course of study for the program in which the student is enrolled is prima facie evidence that the student is pursuing a full-time course of study.

(c) Certification of school attendance. (1) OPM may periodically request the recipient of a child's annuity payments to furnish certification of school attendance. The certification must be completed in the form prescribed by OPM.

(2) If OPM requests the recipient of a child's annuity payments to provide a self-certification of school attendance, the recipient must complete and sign the certification form.

(3) If OPM requests the recipient of a child's annuity payments to provide a certification by the school, the certification must be signed by an official who is either in charge of the school or in charge of the school's records. OPM will not accept certification forms signed by instructors, counselors, aides, roommates, or others not in charge of the school or the records.

(i) If the educational institution is above the high school level, the certification must be signed by the president or chancellor, vice president or vice chancellor, dean or assistant dean, registrar or administrator, assistant registrar or assistant administrator, or the equivalent.

(ii) If the educational institution is at the high school level, the certification must be signed by the superintendent of schools, assistant superintendent of schools, principal, vice principal, assistant principal, or the equivalent.

(iii) If the educational institution is a technical or trade school, the certification must be signed by the president, vice president, director, assistant director, or the equivalent.

(4) OPM will accept a facsimile signature of a school official only if it is accompanied by a raised seal of the institution or other evidence clearly demonstrating the authenticity of the certification and making unauthorized use of the signature stamp unlikely.

(d) Continuation of annuity during interim breaks. A child's annuity continues during interim breaks between school years if the following conditions are satisfied:

(1) The student must have been a full-time student at the end of the school term immediately before the break.

(2) The break between the end of the last term of full-time attendance and the return to full-time attendance must not exceed 5 months. (See §841.109 of this chapter, concerning calculation of this time period.)

(3) The recipient of a child's annuity payments must show that the student has a bona fide intent to return to school as a full-time student immediately after the break. The full-time certification for the period term and the certification (in a form prescribed by OPM) by the recipient of a child's annuity payments that the student intends to return to school (immediately after the break) as a full-time student constitute prima facie evidence of a bona fide intent to return to school.

(e) Benefits after age 22. (1) A student's eligibility for a child's annuity terminates based on reaching age 22 on—

(i) June 30 of the calendar year of the child's 22nd birthday if the child's birthday is before July 1; or

(ii) The last day of the month before the child's 22nd birthday if the child's birthday occurs after June 30 but before September 1 of the calendar year; or

(iii) June 30 of the year after the one in which the child attains age 22 if the child's birthday is after August 31 of the calendar year.

(2)(i) An otherwise eligible child who becomes a full-time student after his or her 22nd birthday but before the date the annuity terminates under paragraph (e)(1) of this section is eligible for annuity while he or she is a full-time student until the termination date under paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

(ii) An otherwise eligible child who is a full-time student, and whose parent dies after the child's 22nd birthday but before the date the annuity terminates under paragraph (e)(1) of this section, is eligible for annuity while he or she is a full-time student after the death of the parent until the termination date under paragraph (e)(1) of this section.

[58 FR 32052, June 8, 1993]

§843.411   Direct payments to children.

For purposes of section 8466(c) of title 5, United States Code, persons who have attained age 18 are considered adults, regardless of the age of majority in the jurisdiction in which they reside.

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