Q: My husband recently died, and we were devastated that our grandson, who is disabled, and has lived with us as a son since birth was denied a survivor’s annuity. We have one item that I thought might prove that he was really our de facto son. Our daughter, his mother, years ago signed a paper that resigned all her parental rights in favor of me and my husband. There is no father recognized on the birth certificate. Is this worth appealing with this paperwork? I don’t want to waste my time, but he really was our son in every way, I’m hoping these documents, plus 16 years of income tax records showing we were supporting him, would be helpful.
A: To better understand the requirements that need to be met for a child to receive benefits, you should go to OPM’s website at http://opm.gov/retire/pubs/handbook/C073.pdf and review Section 73A2.1-2, especially part C, Step Children, and Section73A2, 1-4, Child Incapable of Self Support.