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Rick Martin
Rick Martin, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 34
Experience:  CPA
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I lived and cared for this woman i was living with for

Customer Question

I lived and cared for this woman i was living with for fifteen years. she was diagnosed with small cell lung, brain, and spinal cord cancer. I paid well over fifty percent of her living expenses. Social Security tells me i am not eligible for survivor benefits. The State of Hawaii does not honer common law marriage. I think it absolutely disgusting that her ex husband, who used to beat her and tried to kill her, has the rights to these benefits. Is there anything i can do about this ????
Submitted: 3 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Rick Martin replied 3 months ago.

I'm working on your answer now. I kindly ask that you give me a positive rating after I provide you with an answer if you are happy with my service. Please give me a moment to respond.

Expert:  Rick Martin replied 3 months ago.

I'm a CPA and valuation professional with 30 years of professional experience, including divorce settlements.

Expert:  Rick Martin replied 3 months ago.

There are two questions. The first is whether you can possibly be entitled to survivor benefits given your track record of support, and given that Hawaii requires a marriage license. The answer to this first question is no. At the present time, there aren't even any bills in Hawaii that would propose to change this. The second question is whether or not the ex-husband would be entitled. I will respond to that in a moment.

Expert:  Rick Martin replied 3 months ago.

The answer to the second question it, it depends on a lot of things, including how long they were married, how old the ex is, and other factors. Moreover, if the ex is currently receiving benefits, they may be reduced such that any benefit of receiving a survivor benefit is nullified.

Expert:  Rick Martin replied 3 months ago.

There is one more thing to consider. If there were court decisions made against the ex, they may have included provisions about future finances. You could research these in the public record and make SSA aware of them, if they exist.

Expert:  Rick Martin replied 3 months ago.

Thank you for this opportunity to serve you. My 5 star rating is very important to me. Please feel free to ask follow up questions.