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Dimitry K., Esq.
Dimitry K., Esq., Attorney
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 41220
Experience:  I provide family and divorce law advice to my clients in my firm.
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I was married 12 years in Minnesota. Then, I left him and

Customer Question

I was married 12 years in Minnesota. Then, I left him and about 12 years later, we divorced. Not long after, he died. I am now 69. He worked for the U.S. Government and received a pension. I did receive some money relative to the divorce.
I never knew about social security, etc. Am I legally entitled to any social security payments or anything else from that marriage?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your question. Please permit me to assist you with your concerns. That very much depends on your current status. Are you remarried at this time, or are you still single? Are you receiving your own social security benefits?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I never remarried. Am still single and receive social security benefits. I received some money almost immediately, but that was limited by the fact that my husband worked for the USDA, thus had a pension. I confess I have no idea what that means. But, after all these years, I've read that ex-wives can apply for extra monies, which I certainly could use by now (I'm 69.5). I called SS once and they said I could receive $20/month. I never claimed it. I don't know if he remarried. And, upon his death, I received nothing.
Thank you very much for your help. Paula E. Taylor
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
P.S.: We were always very friendly toward each other. He seemed not to take offense that I decided to divorce him. He travelled 3 weeks out of every 4 weeks, for the 12 years I was with him. That's why I left him.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
My question is: Am I entitled to any money from the State of MN or the U.S. in regard to our marriage?
I called someone (maybe social security??) once a long time ago, and they said I could receive $20/month if I chose to do that. I declined. As it is now: I have contacted your 'company' twice and paid at least once, if not twice, and I've never heard back from anyone. Thank you for your help. Paula Taylor
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Thank you for your patience, Paula. For whatever reason I did not get a response that you were seeking me out. Before I respond in full, I want to check--can you see my response?
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Yes, I can see your response. Thank you. Paula
Expert:  Dimitry K., Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hi, As far as Social Security, that is based on income that you earned or your spouse earned before retirement. You are entitled to receive either 100% of your benefits that you earned, or up to 50% of the maximum benefit that your spouse or former spouse earned provided you were married 10 years or longer. You would need to contact the Social Security Administration and ask them to calculate which benefit is larger, and if his is larger, you can ask that they provide you with those funds. You cannot receive both benefits together but you can receive the larger of the two. Now, as far as a pension, generally that is based on your divorce settlement agreement. if your agreement is silent or does not address this point, you can contact the pension coordinator and request a portion of the benefits, but for that I would strongly suggest you retain counsel. Sincerely, ***** *****