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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13448
Experience:  19+ years legal exp. - 10+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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What are "the laws of Phoenix"

Customer Question

What are "the laws of Phoenix"
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Good lord, did the SSA staffer actually say that to you?

OK, first, can you clarify which "2 ways" you were NOT qualified? I can then likely determine the 3rd. Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Married when he diedWent through a ceremony I thought was legal and was "married" when he diedOR I "have the same rights as a spouse to inherit from expouse under the laws of PHOENIX
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The first 2 I'm not qualified forBut since I don't know about "the laws of PHOENIX"....I can't determine if I'm also not qualified....
But maybe I am!!That's why I would like someone to review the laws of PHOENIX
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

OK, so your marriage, you are saying, is not 'legal' in the statutory sense. Does this mean you do not have a marriage certificate from the town/county/state in which you married? Typically, after a ceremony, we submit our license that has now been filled in / signed by our witnesses and our official who DID the marriage, and the town records it and provides us our official stamped certificate of marriage. Have you no such paperwork? If not, have you checked with your state's vital statistics office to see if it has record of your marriage? If not, there can be other ways to prove a marriage, or have one deemed, but it is far more burdensome on you, so I want to make sure you pursued the easier ways. Let me know!

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gottenanything less, please reply back, I amhappy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

Your online SS legal resource!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I have not received the answer for the question that I asked.....I need to continue the conversation without further feesMy "specialist" is Stephanie O Joy - she can telephone me at(###) ###-####......... Maggie Wolin
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

You haven't received additional dialogue because you still haven't answered the follow up clarification questions. Please see posting of 3/18 at 6:32 am. No worries, I will wait. And I'll check back with you to see if you have had the opportunity to answer these basic questions pertinent to your situation. I look forward to further assisting you.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Oh, and a telephone call is a premium service, at your option. My file here does not reflect that you have ordered that.

That said, I don't think you need to - your answer can be provided here as soon as you are able to provide the additional info. Thanks!

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

While we are at it, can you also explain why you refer to him as ex-husband? Since you indicate you never married him, right? Please explain the nuances of that relationship.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry Stephanie - obviously my correspondense was unclear.... I assumed that you were conversant with the 3 things that would qualify me to receive some benefits from SS( the VA part - he served in Viet Nam as a Major - a board certified surgeon)...Yes, we were married in 1966 and then divorced in 2002 (in Scottsdale/Phoenix,AZ where he died)
I have already investigated regular SS death benefits and will not persue that since there is not much gain, if any , over the SS I am receiving (I retired at 62 so that reduced what I'm eligible for)Next I persued the VA benefits route.....
After applying for the Veterns death benefits - I received a "Notice of Disapproved Claim" claim ####-##-####7The letter stated that I had to meet one of the 3 requirements in order to qualify:
1. married when he died
2. or had had ceremony that I thought was legal and was still living with him when he died
3. I have the same rights as a spouse to inherit from Dr. Wolin under the laws of PhoenixSo since I don't qualify under #s 1 and 2 - I'm attempting to complete an exhaustive effort to receive compensation...I am seeking additional information regarding the #3 option......So this is my question: what do I need to be or do in order to qualify under the third option?I hope that this additional information will help you arrive at an accurate and thorough answer.I appreciate your assistance..............Margaret Wolin (###) ###-####(mobile)
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Yes, we are very conversant with spousal benefits rules and divorced spousal benefits, as well as divorced widow(er) rules.

First, to clarify for you, any reference to local rules (non-federal, such as SS rules, which are federal), refers to whether someone is / was married at all - and those answers are determined by the State law (not city law). Now, you are saying that you WERE married and for more than 10 years. If you weren't married to him, then you'd look to see if the SSA could impute a marriage to you. It can do that by looking at AZ law and whether AZ itself would find a marriage at the appropriate time, for purposes of intestate succession as a "spouse."

That said, it certainly appears that the SSA clerk was pulling your leg (rather obnoxiously) by suggesting you need a lawyer on the "laws of Phoenix" when it comes to Social Security rights. They are a trove of misinformation, at any rate, and this time they seemed to be playing a game. That simply isn't the case. That said, however, if you have some time, I am happy to go through your specific details to see if you eligibility for any SS benefits on any record. Would you like to do that?

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Maggie, I see you have had an opportunity to review the information so far, although I don't see that you have yet taken the opportunity to provide additional information should you decide you really do want to know if you have options in this area of benefits.

I am leaving shortly. If you'd like me to review this today, I will need a response soon. If not, I will check in with you tomorrow. To reiterate, the rules on spousal benefits are quite clear, and we deal with them on a daily basis - so if you really do wish to know whether you may be eligible for some, you will have to provide some additional details. If not, I have provided all the information your limited facts can allow for, and would then ask that we wrap this up accordingly.

Either way, have a great night,

Stephanie O. Joy, Esq.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gottenanything less, please reply back, I amhappy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

Your online SS legal resource!