How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask annelew12554 Your Own Question
annelew12554, Social Security
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 2439
Experience:  I have extensive knowledge of the rules of Social Seeurity
Type Your Social Security Question Here...
annelew12554 is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

My late husband was American. I am Caqnadian but have a Social

Customer Question

My late husband was American. I am Caqnadian but have a Social Security number which was given to me when I was in the US for three months from Jan. to Apr of 2015. Why am I only entitled to Social Security benefits as my husband's spouse when I am in the US and not when I am in Canada. We were married in 1998 and lived 6 months of every year from then to 2009 in the US.
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  annelew12554 replied 2 years ago.
I'm Anne. I've been preparing taxes for 27 years and I'll be helping you today.
First let me extend my sympathies on the loss of your husband.
If you go to the URL listed below, you will see that one of the requirements in order to receive Survivor SS benefits all 12 months is that you must be married to your spouse AND reside in the U.S. for at least 5 years (Scenario 2) Here is the URL:!opendocument
On the surface it appears that you would meet the 5 year requirement
(2009 - 1998 = 11 years)
Since 1/2 of 11 years is more than the 5 year requirement, you will have to prove to authorities that you did in fact live in the US more than 5 years.
The tax returns showing the # ***** months you stated you lived in each place for each year would be the best, ***** ***** you kept them all, I'm afraid it will prove difficult if not impossible to retrieve the later years. (Although if you used a paid preparer, some do keep records back that far, but not many)
As an employee, the SS Admin has copies of his work records for the years you were married to your husband, and you should be able to get a copy of those records. ( These would be helpful only if the employer withheld US state tax only for the amount of time your husband worked on US soil every year.
If they withheld all year, or you resided in a state that has no tax, then these won't help you.
So at this point you have to prove that you lived in the US for 5 full years between the time you were married and the date he passed.
If you can't prove the 5 years, then this is why you are collecting the benefits while you are residing in the US and then you are placed in "alien suspense" when you go back to Canada.
I hope that this gives you clarity on why you have only been collecting SS while you reside here.
If you have any questions, please post them here and I'll be notified.
If this has answered your question, please take the moment to rate positive so that I can receive credit for helping you today.
Your positive rating is the only way that we receive compensation for our time and knowledge.
Thank you for choosing justanswer.