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Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 473
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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MY EX HUSBAND PASSED AWAY....NEVER REMARRIED..CAN I APPLY

Customer Question

MY EX HUSBAND PASSED AWAY....NEVER REMARRIED..CAN I APPLY FOR HIS SOCIAL SECURITY OR ANYTHING????
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
QUESTION WAS FOR EX HUSBAND..NOT PRESENT HUSBAND...CAN HIS ADOPTED SON NOW 45 COLLECT ANYTHING THERE IS NO WILL...
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 7 months ago.

Dear Customer,

It depends on whether he has worked enough credit to qualify for social security and your age. You are looking at survival spouse benefit and spousal benefit if your marriage to him lasted at least 10 years. If you are caring his child younger than 16 years old, the requirement is different. Please read on. After the citations, there are website links for reference. I saw your second posting. If you remarried, then, you may qualify only after you become unmarried again. The son is a different issue. I will address that after the original question.

Part I.

Benefits for surviving divorced spouses

If you’ve been divorced, your former wife or husband, age 60 or older (50-59 if disabled) can get benefits, if your marriage lasted at least 10 years. Your former spouse, however, doesn’t have to meet the age or length-of-marriage rule if they take care of your child who is younger than age 16 or disabled, and entitled on your record. The child must be your former spouse’s natural or legally adopted child. Benefits paid to you as a surviving divorced spouse won’t affect the benefit rates for other survivors getting benefits on the worker’s record. If you’re the surviving divorced mother or father, with the worker’s child under age 16 or disabled in your care, your benefit can affect the benefits of others on the record."

https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10084.pdf

Part II.

Spousal Benefit

If you are divorced, but your marriage lasted 10 years or longer, you can receive benefits on your ex-spouse's record (even if he or she has remarried) if:

  • You are unmarried;
  • You are age 62 or older;
  • Your ex-spouse is entitled to Social Security retirement or disability benefits and
  • The benefit you are entitled to receive based on your own work is less than the benefit you would receive based on your ex-spouse's work.

Note: Your benefit as a divorced spouse is equal to one-half of your ex-spouse's full retirement amount (or disability benefit) if you start receiving benefits at your full retirement age. The benefits do not include any delayed retirement credits your ex-spouse may receive.

If you remarry, you generally cannot collect benefits on your former spouse's record unless your later marriage ends (whether by death, divorce or annulment).

If your ex-spouse has not applied for retirement benefits, but can qualify for them, you can receive benefits on his or her record if you have been divorced for at least two years.

Part III.

45 year old adopted child

This question needs to follow up with the first thing, whether the deceased has any estate, things of value to inhere. If the person is indeed legally adopted, I would think that he has a standing to be in line for inheritance. This adult child needs to get legal counsel on the matter.

Regards,

Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP