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Alexander Haraczka
Alexander Haraczka,
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 23
Experience:  Supervisor at Cummings, Lamont & McNamee, PA
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I married my first husband October 6, 1973. We had 3

Customer Question

I married my first husband October 6, 1973. We had 3 children in the marriage. Because of emotional abuse and mental illness, I was forced to take our children and leave 1995, later I divorced him since he stayed on the move. I did leave him with the house so that it could not be said I left him mentally sick. He refused my help or any medical help. He was abusive to our children and vowed to never speak to me or our 3 children ever again, if I ever left him. He promised...I would never see one days child support. This all came to be. I was left, paying his business taxes for about 4 years after I left. then $600.00 in interest. I struggled for years....eventually with the help of my daughter... we survived. I tried to keep up with his where about's. He has never paid any child support even through it was court ordered. I found out last week he was found dead in his apt from heart failure. He died all alone. His body had been in his bed dead, since before Thanksgiving. He lived in the same zip code as his mother in Florida yet she says she never knew. I find that hard to believe. I married again in 1994 and separated 1996. My divorce was finalized from my second husband August 12th 2013 or 14. My question is... Since I was married to my first husband for about 23 years...can I collect my first husbands Social Security until I can collect my own full Social Security?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Alexander Haraczka replied 1 year ago.

Hello, and thank you for your question. I'm sorry to hear about the issues you faced, but am glad to be able to tell you that yes, you should be able to file for social security benefits from your deceased ex-husband.

There are some hurdles that need to be cleared though:

1. You must be unmarried to collect (you should qualify since your second marriage also ended in divorce).

2. You must be 60 or older to receive full survivor's benefits (this isn't known to me yet).

2a. You can begin receiving benefits at age 50 if you are disabled and your disability started before or within 7 years of your ex-spouse's death.

3. Your ex-spouse was entitled to social security retirement or disability benefits, and

4. The benefits you're entitled to, based on your work history, are less than the benefits your ex-spouse received.

If you meet all four of the criteria above, you should be able to claim your ex-spouse's benefits. You'll need to contact the SSA at 1-***-***-**** to apply for benefits, as they're not available online for survivor's benefits.

Thank you, ***** ***** luck to you in the future; please be sure to rate me as soon as you're able.