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Ask Stephanie O Joy, Esq Your Own Question
Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13546
Experience:  22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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I was told I was eligible widow benefits and filed a claim

Customer Question

I was told I was eligible for monthly widow benefits and filed a claim 4/19/16.
The # *****###-##-####and claimant###-##-####appear at the top of letter I received from the SS office.
I have not heard anything and need to know what has happened with my claim.
Thank you
Joyce Wald ***@******.***
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Hi Joyce - you indicate your haven't not hear anything, but then you do say "the top of a letter I received from the SS office" - which seems inconsistent.

What does the letter say that you received?

Also, did you appear in person at the SS office to apply for survivor benefits?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I was at the office in person. The #'s at the top of the letter are my late husband's SS# ***** mine. The letter is just verifying my application summary for Widow's Insurance Benefits.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Perfect! That indicates that your application is being processed. Generally, the SSA asks that we allow up to 3 months for an application to be fully processed and paid out, after it has received all supporting documents (such as marriage certificate, birth certificate, photo id, death certificate, etc.). If you do not see a payment by end of July or so, I'd follow up with the SSA. That said, I see no reason why you wouldn't have a payment by then if you have submitted all documents.

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

I hope this helps! My goal is to provide you with excellent and accurate service – if you feel you have gottenanything less, please reply back, I amhappy to address follow-up questions.

Kindly rate me "excellent"when you are done. I look forward to assisting you in the future, should you have legal questions. Be sure to start future posts with "To ***** Esq., ONLY" if you want me to specifically answer it.

Sincerely, ***** ***** Joy, Esq.

Your online SS legal resource!

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Totally dissatisfied! All you did was quote a policy. I was looking for someone to actually check my claim, because everything was given to SS on 4/19 when I filed the claim and they said nothing about the fact that it could take 3 months to process. I feel like I just wasted my money.
Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Goodness Joyce! Were you under the impression that strangers can simply call the SSA and get your private SS info from the SSA? Heavens NO. The SSA is extremely (and rightfully) protective of your SS info – to be otherwise would put you in serious jeopardy of identity theft that could be extremely costly to you. RATHER, as a lawyer that works on SS matters for clients with the SSA, IT TAKES UP TO 3 MONTHS, to process your claim. I am sorry you were misinformed by someone that you could just ask a stranger to invade your SS account and get your private info, but that just isn’t the case. If you want someone else to do the leg work, call/wait/visit the SSA to glean information pertinent to you, you need to hire them as your appointed representative, and you do that by mutually executing the SSA-1696, an SSAf orm. However, I don’t believe you will find a lawyer that will do so, because he would be unable to charge a fee, and let’s face it, no one wants to spend 3-6 hours of a workday waiting on hold or visiting an SSA office for another to get what will only be a clerk saying, “itcan take up to 3 months.”

Expert:  Stephanie O Joy, Esq replied 1 year ago.

Incidentally, I am not privvy to your financial arrangement with the company that runs this site - I am simply a contributing SS lawyer that helps people on here. If you are dissatisfied because you got the very answer you asked for, to the extent possible, even if you called the SSA, then feel free to get a refund from the company. Better I waste my time here than you. You should see a customer service number or link on your screen, I believe. Have a wonderful day.