In 1955, after the death of A, W applied for mother's insurance benefits on his earnings record. At that time she gave her date of birth as December 24, 1899, but her age was not material to her eligibility for benefits as long as she had in her care a child under 18 entitled to benefits. (Section 202(g) of the Social Security Act.) In December 1957, after her son had reached age 18 and they no longer were entitled to benefits, W applied for widow's insurance benefits under section 202(e) alleging that she had already reached the retirement age of 62 and that her correct date of birth was December 24, 1895.
As evidence of her date of birth the following documents were submitted:
Regulations No. 4, § 404.703 provides that in determining the weight to be given to evidence offered to prove age, consideration will be given to its general probative value. The probative value of evidence of age is determined by considering such factors as the purpose for which a record was established, the basis for the record, the formality of the record, and its location and age. Other factors being equal, the oldest record normally has the highest probative value.
In this case, however, in the face of the school records made three years later and other explanatory statements, doubt is cast upon the correctness of the 1911 record of the family's arrival in the United States which normally would have great weight and validity in establishing age. The reason for giving incorrect ages for the children at that time was convincingly explained. The school records made in 1914 establish the dates of birth of the three younger children as alleged in their affidavits. R could not have been as young as three years of age and she had to be nearly six at the time she entered the United States since her father had come to the United States about five years earlier. Correspondingly, F could not have been four years of age but had to be nearly nine as is indicated on her school record. W was the second of the six children and must have been born several years before S, the fourth child, whose date of birth was definitely established as September 25, 1899. Although the school records do not establish W's actual date of birth, the doctor's record established in 1935 shows her date of birth as December 24, 1895. This record, which supports W's allegation, was based on information given upon the doctor's insistence and constitutes credible evidence.
It is held, therefore, that the evidence and statements presented are sufficient to establish that W was born on December 24, 1895, as claimed.
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