20 CFR 404.109

SSR 70-1

The Social Security Amendments of 1967, enacted January 2, 1968, added a provision (Section 213(c)) for an alternative method of computing quarters of coverage, based on earnings before 1951, in determining insured status where a worker is not insured under the provisions of section 214(a) of the Act. This alternative method is applicable only to a worker who applied for old-age insurance benefits under section 202(a) after January 2, 1968, or who dies after that date without becoming entitled to benefits. Accordingly, the method for computing quarters of coverage provided by section 213(c) is held not applicable in the case of an otherwise uninsured worker who died in 1965.

R, born in July 1907, died in December 1965. His widow, W, filed application in December 1965 for widow's insurance benefits. Section 202(e)(1) of the Act provides that a widow may become entitled to widow's insurance benefits if (among other requirements not at issue here) the worker died fully insured. Based on R's date of death, he needed under section 214(a) of the Act, 14 quarters of coverage to be a fully insured individual. The term "quarter of coverage," as defined in section 213(a)(2) of the Act, insofar as pertinent her, means a calendar quarter after 1936 in which an individual was paid wages of $50 or more for services covered by the Social Security Act.

His earnings record showed that R had only 13 of the 14 quarters of coverage needed for insured status. All of such quarters were earned before 1951 (based on wages of $6,080). Since R lacked one quarter of coverage, he was not fully insured for benefit purposes, under the regular method for computing quarters of coverage, and W's application was disallowed.

However, W appealed the disallowance of her claim, and before a final decision had been made as to her entitlement, the Social Security Amendments of 1967 (P.L. 90-248) were enacted. Section 155(b) of the amendments added a provision for an alternative method of determining quarters of coverage with respect to wages in the period from 1937 to 1950. This new provision, added to section 213 of the Act, reads in pertinent part as follows:

(c) For purposes of section 214(a), an individual shall be deemed to have one quarter of coverage for each $400 of his total wages prior to 1051 (as defined in section 215(d)(1)(C), except where --
(1) such individual is not a fully insured individual on the basis of the number of quarter of coverage so derived plus the number of quarters of coverage derived from the wages and self-employment income credited to him for periods after 1950, or
(2) such individual's elapsed years (for purposes of section 214(a)(1)) are less than 7.

The question to be resolved in whether R, not fully insured at the time of his death, may be fully insured by reason of the provision added by the 1967 amendments. Under this alternative method, based on the wages credited for the 1937-1950 period ($6,080 divided by $400), a possible 15 quarters of coverage could thus be acquired, provided this method is applicable to W's application.

Section 155(b) of the 1967 amendments provides, in pertinent part, that section 213(c) of the Act is applicable only in the case of a worker who applies under section 202(a) after January 2, 1968 (the date of enactment), or who dies after this date without becoming entitled to benefits under section 202(a) of the Act. The evidence of record establishes that R never applied for benefits under section 202(a) and that he died in December 1965, prior to the enactment of the 1967 amendments. Thus he never satisfied the conditions for the application of section 213(c) of the Act. Consequently, the alternative method for determining quarters of coverage with respect to wages in the period from 1937 to 1950 cannot be applied in R's case.

Accordingly, since R was not fully insured under the regular provisions at his death and section 213(c) of the Act is not applicable, held, W is not entitled to widow's insurance benefits for which she applied.

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