Beeler v. Astrue

Appellee sued the Commissioner of the Social Security Administration (SSA), seeking review of the SSA's denial of benefits to her daughter. At issue was whether a child conceived through artificial insemination more than a year after her father's death qualified for benefits under the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. 402, 416. The Commissioner interpreted the Act to provide that a natural child of the decedent was not entitled to benefits unless she had inheritance rights under state law or could satisfy certain additional statutory requirements. The court held that the Commissioner's interpretation was, at a minimum, reasonable and entitled to deference, and that the relevant state law did not entitle the applicant in this case to benefits. Therefore, the court reversed the district court's judgments.