SSR 79-1: Sections 202(d) and 205(a) (42 U.S.C. 402(d) and 405(a))—Child's Insurance Benefits—Effect of Final Conviction of Child Over Age 14 of Felonious and Intentional Homicide—Missouri
20 CFR 404.364
In Missouri, where a child over the age of 14 is certified to stand trial as an adult for the murder of the deceased wage earner, she may be finally convicted of "felonious and intentional homicide" within the meaning of Social Security Regulations No. 4, section 404.364. Held, if the claimant is finally convicted, she cannot be entitled to surviving child's benefits.
The claimant, born November 19, 1960, was charged with the murder of her mother and the felonious assault of her father. Although 16 years old at the time of the crimes, the claimant was certified to stand trial in Missouri as an adult.
An application for Surviving Child's Insurance Benefits was filed for her on November 21, 1977. The question has been raised as to whether surviving child's benefits may be paid. More specifically, the question is whether a homicide conviction against the claimant would be considered "felonious."
In Missouri a child under the age of 14 cannot be convicted of a felony. For children age 14 or older the Missouri code provides:
"In the discretion of the judge of the juvenile court, when any petition under sections 211.011 to 211.431 alleges that a child of the age of fourteen years or older has committed an offense which would be a felony if committed by an adult . . . the petition may be dismissed and such child or minor may be prosecuted under the general law, . . ." §211.071, RS Mo 1969, V.A.M.S.
In the present case, the claimant was 16 at the time of the alleged offense. She was certified to stand trial as an adult. Therefore, pursuant to section 211.071 of the Missouri code, she is amenable to the provisions of Missouri's general criminal law.
In Missouri a conviction of murder in the second degree constitutes "felonious and intentional homicide" within the meaning of Social Security Regulations No. 4, section 404.364. A manslaughter conviction, however, may or may not be a "felonious and intentional homicide" within the meaning of that regulation depending on whether the requisite intent has been established.
Accordingly, if the charges pending against the claimant result in a final conviction of a "felonious and intentional homicide" within the meaning of Regulations NO. 4, §404.364, she cannot be entitled to surviving child's benefits.