and then deducting proportionately among the remaining beneficiaries, whatever amount is necessary to bring the total family benefit down to the maximum permitted by the statute.
Under Sections 202(d)(2) and 202(g)(2) of the Social Security Act, 42 U.S.C. §§ 402(d)(2), 402(g)(2), the widow and each child in the instant case is entitled to a monthly benefit equal to three-fourths of the deceased's primary insurance amount of $67.80 as computed under Section 215(a) of the Act, 42 U.S.C. § 415(a), subject to a maximum family benefit of $101.70 (also computed under Section 215(a) of the Act). Since in the instant case each beneficiary is entitled to $50.85 (3/4 of $67.80), it is evident that under Section 416(h)(3) the benefits of plaintiff's children (which must be reduced before those of any of the other beneficiaries) have to be reduced to zero, and the Secretary's decision that plaintiff's children although qualified as beneficiaries are not entitled to receive monthly payments at the present time was obviously required by the Social Security Act.
Plaintiff does not dispute the above findings. Rather, plaintiff alleges that the provisions of the Social Security Act that require the reduction of benefits, first to illegitimate children in toto, before requiring the reduction of benefits of legitimate children discriminate against illegitimate children in violation of the Due Process Clause of the Fifth Amendment.
The Court concludes that the payment classification established by Section 203(a) of the Social Security Act is not a case of class legislation without any reasonable basis. The priority in payment to children who under appropriate state law can inherit from their father or whose parents were formally married
reflects Congress's judgment that such children are more likely than other children to have been supported by their father, or to have received more support from him prior to the critical event, (in this case his death) which occasioned the loss of support. This Court cannot say that this Congressional judgment lacks a rational basis in fact.
The Federal old-age, survivor's and disability program was designed to replace loss of financial support resulting from the wage earner's leaving the labor market due to old age, disability or death. S. Rep. No. 1669, 81st Cong., 2d Sess. (1950), U.S. Code Cong. Serv. 1950, p. 3287. To the extent, therefore, that a child with inheritance rights or whose parents were formally married is more likely to have been supported by the wage earner, it was reasonable for Congress to have recognized this by giving such children a priority claim to the limited survivor's benefits payable on any earnings account.
Plaintiff Marlowe's motion for summary judgment is denied and defendant's motion for summary judgment is granted.