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Ayuso-Morales v. Secretary of Health and Human Services
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
677 F.2d 146 (1982)
Esther Ayuso-Morales (plaintiff) applied for widow’s insurance benefits following the death of her husband, an insured wage earner. Ayuso-Morales lived with her husband for more than 20 years before they were married. However, the couple was only legally married under Puerto Rican law less than nine months before the husband died. The Secretary of Health and Human Services (defendant) denied Ayuso-Morales’s application because she had not been married to the deceased for at least nine months as required by 42 U.S.C. § 416(c), the statute that provides for widow’s insurance benefits. Ayuso-Morales sued the secretary in a United States district court, and the court affirmed the secretary’s denial. Ayuso-Morales appealed, arguing the Puerto Rican concubinage law entitled her to the benefit.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Breyer, J.)
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