The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that children conceived posthumously with IVF are not entitled to Social Security survivor benefits. In 1939, the Social Security Administration put in a provision that allowed dependent children to collect their parent’s benefits as survivors. In 1939 they did not have a crazy fertility industry willing to make children en masse for any reason for anyone. So the 1939 definition of “dependent child” was open for interpretation in 2012.
On Monday the Court, decided on Astrue vs. Capato against the Capatos. Before Robert Capato died of cancer, he banked his sperm. A year later his widow, Karen Capato, used that sperm to create IVF embryos and gave birth to twins. Karen applied to Social Security for “survivor” benefits for the twins. Those benefits were denied by the SSA and now the Supreme Court has upheld their decision saying that the Capato children were never truly dependent on Robert for his wages.