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Marsha411JD, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 19673
Experience:  Licensed Atty, 29 yrs exp in the practice of law.
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My husband passed 17 years ago. I was not informed that I

Customer Question

My husband passed 17 years ago. I was not informed that I could claim survivors benefits by the Social Security agency until last month. When they told me I could only claim retroactive for 6 months. Is this just in Wisconsin, or is this Federal law and where does my husbands money that he paid in go?
Submitted: 4 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 months ago.


Thank you for the information and your question. The law that applies to this issue is Federal law and it does limit back pay of survivors' benefits to six months. State law has no bearing or control over Social Security issues. As far as where wage earners SS taxes go, they all go into the SS Trust in a pool. In other words, although the earner's earnings are used to calculate how much their benefits will be, their money, which is only a fraction of what SS will pay them, is not set aside in an individual account. So, any amount that might not have been paid out to an earner, for various reasons, will just stay in the SS Trust to pay other earners their benefits.

Please feel free to ask for clarification if needed. If none is needed, then if you could take a moment to leave a positive rating in the box above, I will receive credit for assisting you today. Thank you

Expert:  Marsha411JD replied 4 months ago.

Hello again,

I wanted to touch base with you and make sure that you did not have any follow up questions for me from the answer I provided to you on the 14th. For some reason, the Experts are not always getting replies, or ratings (at the top of the question/answer page you are viewing or in the pop up box for this question), which is how we get credit (paid by the Site) for our work, that the customer thinks have gone through. In your case I received neither.

Please keep in mind that I cannot control the law or your circumstances, and am ethically bound to provide you with accurate information based on the facts you give me even if the news is not good. If you are having technical difficulties with reading, replying or rating,please let me know so that I can inform the Site administrator. Please note that Site use works best while using a computer and using either Google Chrome or Firefox.

In any event, it was a pleasure assisting you and I would be glad to attempt to assist you further on this issue, or a new legal issue,if needed. You can bookmark my page at:

Thank you.

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