20 CFR § 725.520 - Computation of benefits.

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§ 725.520 Computation of benefits.

(a) Basic rate. The amount of benefits payable to a beneficiary for a month is determined, in the first instance, by computing the “basic rate.” The basic rate is equal to 37 1/2 percent of the monthly pay rate for Federal employees in GS-2, step 1. That rate for a month is determined by:

(1) Ascertaining the lowest annual rate of pay (step 1) for Grade GS-2 of the General Schedule applicable to such month (see 5 U.S.C. 5332);

(2) Ascertaining the monthly rate thereof by dividing the amount determined in paragraph (a)(1) of this section by 12; and

(3) Ascertaining the basic rate under the Act by multiplying the amount determined in paragraph (a)(2) of this section by 0.375 (that is, by 37 1/2 percent).

(b) Basic benefit. When a miner or surviving spouse is entitled to benefits for a month for which he or she has no dependents who qualify under this part and when a surviving child of a miner or spouse, or a parent, brother, or sister of a miner, is entitled to benefits for a month for which he or she is the only beneficiary entitled to benefits, the amount of benefits to which such beneficiary is entitled is equal to the basic rate as computed in accordance with this section (raised, if not a multiple of 10 cents, to the next high multiple of 10 cents). This amount is referred to as the “basic benefit.”

(c) Augmented benefit.

(1) When a miner or surviving spouse is entitled to benefits for a month for which he or she has one or more dependents who qualify under this part, the amount of benefits to which such miner or surviving spouse is entitled is increased. This increase is referred to as an “augmentation.”

(2) The benefits of a miner or surviving spouse are augmented to take account of a particular dependent beginning with the first month in which such dependent satisfies the conditions set forth in this part, and continues to be augmented through the month before the month in which such dependent ceases to satisfy the conditions set forth in this part, except in the case of a child who qualifies as a dependent because he or she is a student. In the latter case, such benefits continue to be augmented through the month before the first month during no part of which he or she qualifies as a student.

(3) The basic rate is augmented by 50 percent for one such dependent, 75 percent for two such dependents, and 100 percent for three or more such dependents.

(d) Survivor benefits. As used in this section, “survivor” means a surviving child of a miner or surviving spouse, or a surviving parent, brother, or sister of a miner, who establishes entitlement to benefits under this part.

(e) Computation and rounding.

(1) Any computation prescribed by this section is made to the third decimal place.

(2) Monthly benefits are payable in multiples of 10 cents. Therefore, a monthly payment of amounts derived under paragraph (c)(3) of this section which is not a multiple of 10 cents is increased to the next higher multiple of 10 cents.

(3) Since a fraction of a cent is not a multiple of 10 cents, such an amount which contains a fraction in the third decimal place is raised to the next higher multiple of 10 cents.

(f) Eligibility based on the coal mine employment of more than one miner. Where an individual, for any month, is entitled (and/or qualifies as a dependent for purposes of augmentation of benefits) based on the disability or death due to pneumoconiosis arising out of the coal mine employment of more than one miner, the benefit payable to or on behalf of such individual shall be at a rate equal to the highest rate of benefits for which entitlement is established by reason of eligibility as a beneficiary, or by reason of his or her qualification as a dependent for augmentation of benefit purposes.