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lev-tax
lev-tax, Tax Advisor
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 29966
Experience:  Taxes, Immigration, Labor Relations
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My common law married husband has been recently diagnosed

Customer Question

My common law married husband has been recently diagnosed with stage IV Cancer and was previously married for 12 years and has two children 16 & 18. The 18 year old graduated from high school but lives at home with his mom. His ex-wife has now re-married also.
Do I have the rights to his benefits when he passes? Or do I need to be legally married to him?
Also, can his ex-wife claim all or half of his SS benefits?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.

His ex-wife is not eligible for social security benefits on his working record because she was re-married - but might become eligible if her second marriage ends.

His children will be eligible for social security based on his working record.

You may be eligible for survival spouse benefits if you are considered as married based on your state law - thus if your state recognizes the common law marriage - you would be considered legally married and would be eligible for survival spouse benefits.

You need to be married at least 9 month to qualify.

Questions?

Expert:  lev-tax replied 1 year ago.

You may be eligible for survival spouse benefits if you are considered as married based on your state law - thus if your state recognizes the common law marriage - you would be considered legally married and would be eligible for survival spouse benefits.

You need to be married at least 9 month to qualify.

Let me know if you need any details or help with application.