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An individual requested reconsideration of the denial of her claim for an annuity as the eligible widow of a deceased Air Force member. The Claims Group had denied the claim because her marriage to the member occurred less than 1 year prior to his death. In her request for reconsideration, the claimant contended that she was entitled to the annuity, since she and her husband had entered into a common-law marriage more than 1 year prior to his death. GAO held that there was no evidence that the: (1) claimant was married to the deceased member for 1 year prior to his death; or (2) parties had agreed to be married at the time their relationship began, as the applicable state laws required to establish common-law marriage. Accordingly, the claim was denied.


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