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Phillips Esq.
Phillips Esq., Attorney-at-Law
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 19127
Experience:  B.A.; M.B.A.; J.D.
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I sent a question and the answer was to talk to the local

Customer Question

I sent a question and the answer was to talk to the local social security office. I did. They denied my claim for my husbands survivor benefits. What do I do now? He said it was because my husband did not list me as a common law wife when he applied. We lived together for over 14 years. We got married about 6 months ago. Iowa is a common law state right? Do you have any idea of whatI can do? Both my husband and I worked for over 40 years and he made much more than I did. I am a nurse but let my license expire and stayed home to care for him since 2013. Thank you.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Phillips Esq. replied 1 year ago.
Hello: When you dealt with me previously, you did not mention anything about common law marriage. In order to be in a common law marriage in Iowa and other States that recognize common law marriages both parties must agree that they are in a common law marriage. If your late husband did not list you as his common law wife, then there is a presumption that he did not think that both of you were in a common law marriage. However, if you are disputing that this is actually the case, then you need to file an appeal by requesting that Social Security Administration reconsiders your claim. You should go to the local office of Social Security Administration to make this request so that Social Security Administration's Claims Representative would help you complete the proper form to file for the Reconsideration. If you are turned down, you would get another opportunity to appeal the case to the Administrative Law Judge. Then if you lose at the Administrative Law Judge level, you can appeal to the Appeals Council and ultimately to a Federal Court. But you need to start the appeal process by Requesting for Reconsideration. Let me know how you made out. Goodluck with your case, Kindly give a positive rating to my response so that I can receive credit for responding to your post. There is no additional cost to you for doing this. Thank you for your cooperation.