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Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 40970
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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I applied benefits and was turned down. I am 64 years and 11

Customer Question

I applied for survivor benefits and was turned down. I am 64 years and 11 months old. I was married for 42 years to my wife. Who died 12-24-15. I am questioning why I was turned down.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.

I am sorry for your loss and situation.Let me confirm here this is social security survivor benefits , how old are you and you are not already getting SS benefits ??

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I retired 10-10-15 and started benefits. M wife then got sick and died
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I had never looked for her to die this soon and I needed her ss to make ends meet
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Do you understand here that you can draw either your benefits or survivor benefits but not both.You can draw the larger one here.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

If you are already getting benefits unless survivor ones are larger , you only get one here whichever is larger.Are we clear on that?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What good are the benefit then? There is no way for me to do anything about this then.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
If I can only get one there is nothing else to do. Thanks
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

I am sorry they didn't do a good job explaining this.If you have never worked and been married 10 years or more you get her benefits, otherwise you would not qualify since you had not worked.

A surviving spouse or child may receive a special lump-sum death payment of $255 if they meet certain requirements.

Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse who was living in the same household with the worker when he or she died. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, he or she:

  • was already receiving benefits on the worker's record; or
  • became eligible for benefits upon the worker's death.

Make sure you got the death benefit here, its not much but its something.

I appreciate the chance to help you, wish you the best.