Cases & Advocacy

Application of A.W.

Status: Closed

Outcome: Victory

Location: California

L.W. and K.R. raised their child, A.W., together from the time that K.R. gave birth to him. After the couple split up, L.W. became the child’s sole caregiver. L.W. obtained a parentage judgment from a California court establishing that she is A.W.’s legal parent.

L.W. is disabled and receives Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits. The Social Security Act provides benefits for the children of people who receive SSDI, and L.W. applied for A.W. to receive benefits as her child. A.W.’s application was initially denied because the Administration refused to recognize L.W. as his parent.

NCLR, along with cooperating attorney Jona Saxby, represented A.W. at his administrative hearing appealing the initial decision. The Administrative Law Judge ruled that the Social Security Administration must provide benefits to A.W. because L.W. is his legal parent under California law.