Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
Actually, the benefits you are seeking are called surviving spouse benefits. You need to go to Social Security with a copy of your marriage certificate, his death certificate, his Social Security number and yours, as well as photo ID for yourself. There you will be able to complete the application and you should begin receiving benefits approximately 3 months later. They will also pay retroactive benefit payments for up to, but not more than, 6 months. I recommend going to Social Security rather than doing the application process on line since any minor mistake can delay the process and, with a personal visit, all that can be avoided.
You can locate a convenient SSA office at www.ssa.gov
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