The U.S. Supreme Court has ruled Florida twins conceived through in vitro fertilization after their father’s death are not entitled to Social Security survivor benefits.
The case, Astrue v. Capato opinion, involves twins born 18 months after their father, Robert Capato, died of cancer. Capato’s widow, Karen, used frozen sperm for the in vitro process. The unanimous opinion (PDF) by Justice Ruth Bader Ginbsurg supports the Social Security Administration’s interpretation of the governing statute.
According to the SSA, children are entitled to benefits from a wage earner who dies if they qualify for inheritance under state law. In Florida, a child may not inherit through intestate succession unless conceived while the deceased parent was still alive.