As you know, under the Social Security Act, the law of the state in which the wage earner died domiciled determines the family relationships of persons seeking to claim benefits on the DWE's record.B~ requested reconsideration of the denial on August 26, 2003, which resulted in this request for a legal opinion as to whether she is Philip B~ legal widow for Social Security benefit purposes.It is clear from the information provided with the request for our legal opinion that Carnalee and Philip B~ were enrolled members of the Zuni Tribe.All images on this site are all in compliance with the US Federal Law.According to the master beneficiary record, a lump sum death benefit was paid to Ms.B~ and, after his death in 1988, went to the Zuni tribal judge with two witnesses to have the marriage recorded; (2) a certified copy of a posthumous Zuni tribal marriage license and certificate both dated November 9, 1988; (3) affidavits submitted in support of the 1988 marriage license and certificate from Ms.B~ sister), and Lela Mae C~ (Philip B~ sister); (4) a copy of Ms.Secretary of Health Education and Welfare, 377 F.2d 55 (4th Cir.
Herbert S~ death certificate lists Elizabeth as the surviving spouse.
In this case, all parties are members of the Navajo Nation, subject to Navajo tribal law, and the DWE was domiciled on the Navajo reservation, in New Mexico, at the time of his death.
It is well established that the Secretary is not bound by ex parte orders of a state trial court, but rather is at liberty to determine the law of the state as it would be determined by the highest court of the state.
Secretary of Health and Human Services, 868 F.2d 1444, 1445 (Lth Cir.
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