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TaxRobin, Tax Preparer
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 15720
Experience:  15+ years in tax preparation and instruction
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My great grandmother was born in 1877 and died in 1965. Is

Customer Question

My great grandmother was born in 1877 and died in 1965. Is there anything she could have collected as she never worked. I am wondering if there is a application that she filled out. I am doing geneology and am looking for info on her. Her name was Ursley Berry born Ursley Alexander Sept 5, 1877 in Knox Co KY and died Feb 17, 1965 Detroit MI. Husband Thomas Berry.
If you could help me or direct me to a different site I would appreciated it very much.
thank you, ***** *****
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 2 years ago.


Your relative may have been able to apply for SS benefits. In September 1950 Benefits began to be paid to the dependent widower, dependent husband, wife under 65 with a child in her care, and to a divorced wife.

On February 2, 1953 President Eisenhower, in his State of the Union Message, recommended that the "old-age and survivors insurance law should promptly be extended to cover millions of citizens who have been left out of the Social Security system."

It is possible that your Great grandmother was allowed SSA benefits.

SSA does not make available applications for benefits. They do publish death notices. The census records are available and I think I saw your relative listed in the 1920 census.

"United States Census, 1920,"

FamilySearch( : accessed 19 September 2015),

Ursley Berry in household of Thomas Berry, Gladeville, Wise, Virginia, United States;

citing sheet 29B,

family 572,

NARA microfilm publication T625 (Washington D.C.: National Archives and Records Administration, n.d.); FHL microfilm 1,821,918.

A truly free and very helpful site for checking is FamilySearch.

Customer: replied 2 years ago.
SS does make applications available as I have sent for some and that is where I was able to find where my grandmother was born. I'm sorry but I failed to mention that I think Ursley's husband Thomas died in the 1920's and would not have applied for SS. When I was at the SS office one of the workers said there was info for "old age pensions" not SS pensions.
Expert:  TaxRobin replied 2 years ago.


Prior to the 1930’s, there was no consideration of compulsory, contributory, old age insurance in the United States.

It is true that old age pension legislation had been introduced in Congress earlier than 1920. It never reported out of Committee.