5 U.S. Code § 8441 - Definitions
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For the purpose of this subchapter—
(1) the term “widow” means the surviving wife of an employee, Member, or annuitant, or of a former employee or Member, who—
(2) the term “widower” means the surviving husband of an employee, Member, or annuitant, or of a former employee or Member, who—
(3) the term “dependent”, in the case of any child, means that the employee, Member, or annuitant involved was, at the time of death of the employee, Member, or annuitant either living with or contributing to the support of such child, as determined in accordance with such regulations as the Office shall prescribe; and
(4) the term “child” means—
(A) an unmarried dependent child under 18 years of age, including
(ii) a stepchild but only if the stepchild lived with the employee, Member, or annuitant in a regular parent-child relationship,
(iv) a child who lived with and for whom a petition of adoption was filed by an employee, Member, or annuitant and who is adopted by the widow or widower of the employee, Member, or annuitant after the death of such employee, Member, or annuitant;
(B) such unmarried dependent child regardless of age who is incapable of self-support because of mental or physical disability incurred before age 18; or
(C) such unmarried dependent child between 18 and 22 years of age who is a student regularly pursuing a full-time course of study or training in residence in a high school, trade school, technical or vocational institute, junior college, college, university, or comparable recognized educational institution.
For the purpose of this paragraph and section 8443, a child whose 22nd birthday occurs before July 1 or after August 31 of a calendar year, and while regularly pursuing such a course of study or training, is deemed to have become 22 years of age on the first day of July after that birthday. A child who is a student is deemed not to have ceased to be a student during an interim between school years if the interim is not more than 5 months and if such child shows to the satisfaction of the Office that such child has a bona fide intention of continuing to pursue a course of study or training in the same or different school during the school semester (or other period into which the school year is divided) immediately after the interim.