How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask LawTalk Your Own Question
LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 36125
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
15277592
Type Your Social Security Question Here...
LawTalk is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I am a 73 year old widow. The only other money I get is a

Customer Question

I am a 73 year old widow. The only other money I get is a monthly retirement plan that I receive that will run out in a few yearsl other then my SS ck. thats my only income. My question is can I receive survivers benifits? My husband did not have life insurance. Thank you.
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 12 months ago.

Good afternoon Gwen,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry for your loss. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today. In order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

1. Are you receiving a retirement benefit from social security now?

2. Was the retirement benefit your husband received from social security greater than the amount you presently get from social security?

Doug

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I don't understand the question. My husband never received SS. he invested in a retirement fund with ***** ***** and that is what I drew from each month. That money will last me a couple more years. My SS money pays my expenses ie car payment,insurance,utilities,and all other expenses.I am greatful for the money he invested but worry what i will do when it runs out. I could sell my home but I hope i don't need to do that. Thank you for your help.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 12 months ago.

Good morning,

I find it unlikely that your husband did not earn social security. Either that, or he worked for a government agency that paid a separate but similar pension. In the US, anyone earning income who pays taxes pays either into social security or they are exempt because they have a government pension.

This seems like a very crucial matter for you, and your questions and issues suggest that an in-depth conversation might best suit your needs. If you are interested, for a nominal charge I can offer you a phone conference as opposed to continuing in this question and answer thread. Let me know if you don't want a call and I will be happy continue here with an answer for you.

Either way, whether I call you or not, in order to give you a clear and concise answer, I will need some additional information about the circumstances, please.

3. What did your husband do for a living?

4. What company did he work for when he was working?

Doug

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
I did reply to your question. i don't know why it didn't go through.My husband died at age 64 so he never drew SS. he worked for a Real Estate/Land developer at the time of his death.He worked for several Real Estate Companys over the coarse of his career. Howard Perry Walston Better Homes and gardens and a couple more.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 12 months ago.

Good morning Gwen,

Thanks for the additional information. While your husband died before he was eligible to take social security, presuming that he worked at least 10 years in his lifetime, then he qualified for social security as early as age 62.

The fact that he died while married to you, and presuming that you had been married for at least 9 month, then that makes you eligible for a survivor benefit beginning as early as age 60, and a full survivor benefit after age 66.

Now it is not possible for me to know what level of benefit he would have qualified for---however if he earned more money on average than you did during your life, then his social security retirement benefit would have likely been higher than the one you are collecting.

You should contact social security and ask them to consider switching you to a survivor benefit and if that will pay you a larger monthly cash benefit, then that is the one you will be able to collect. A survivor benefit is equal to 100% of the benefit that your husband would have been eligible for at age 66.

When you contact social security (it is usually best to go into a local social security office) be sure to take a copy of your marriage certificate, a copy of his death certificate and both of your social security numbers. Social security will be able to tell you whether they will able to give you a larger social security benefit.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

I hope that I have been able to fully answer your question. Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I am happy with the outcome of your answer.If I understand your answer correctly when my husband passed i started getting his SS which was more then mine. That means that I am not eligible for "Surviors Benifits" .if this is not correct ,then I need more help. Thank you.
Expert:  LawTalk replied 11 months ago.

Hi Gwen,

You were not automatically given a greater benefit when your husband died. You would have had to apply for a survivor benefit from social security and they would then pay you the equivalent of the same amount of monthly benefit that your husband was entitled to collect at the time of his death.

So if you never applied for a survivor benefit from social security, then you will want to do this as soon as possible. You should contact social security and ask them to consider switching you to a survivor benefit and if that will pay you a larger monthly cash benefit, then that is the one you will be able to collect. A survivor benefit is equal to 100% of the benefit that your husband would have been eligible for at age 66.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please be so kind as to rate my service to you. That is the only way I am credited for assisting you.

I wish you and yours the best in 2016,

Doug