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emc011075
emc011075, Tax Adviser
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 3002
Experience:  Tax adviser IRS licensed Enrolled Agent and tax instructor
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Married to husband no 1 for 25 yrs. divorced him 1997. He

Customer Question

Married to husband no 1 for 25 yrs. divorced him 1997. He died in 2007. Married husband no. 2 in 1998. We were married for 10 yrs 2 months. Ss asked me if I was married again after husband no. 1 for more than 10 yrs. I said no. Now I looked at papers and realized I was married to no2 for more than 10 yrs. what does this do to my widow benefit from husband no 1? I do not know whether to tell ss that I was married to no. 2 for more than 2 years? What should I do??
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  emc011075 replied 11 months ago.

Hi. My name is ***** ***** I will be happy to help you.

If you were married to the husband #2 for more than 10 years, you may be eligible for spousal benefits that may be higher than your current one. On the other hand, if you are receiving any benefits you are not suppose to and social security finds out, you will have to repay all the benefits. It is not worth it. I would suggest to contact social security as soon as possible and set the record strait. If you remarried before 60, your benefits can be affected.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well guess I am screwed. Married no 2 at the age of 42. Divorced him age 52. I am now 61
Expert:  emc011075 replied 11 months ago.

If you remarried before 60, you should be collecting widows benefits from your second spouse, not the first one, or if your second spouse is still alive, you could be eligible for spousal benefits based on your second spouse's records. But you should not be receiving widows benefits from your first spouse.

I am sorry, I wish I had a better news for.

Is there anything else I can help you with today?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Ss awarded me 1,800 per month from 1 st husband. I divorced 2nd husband in 2008. So what you are saying is that b/c I was married to husband no. 2 for more than 10years, I am not eligible to collect numer 1's benefit??
Expert:  emc011075 replied 11 months ago.

No, I am sorry, I am confusing you. As long as you are not currently married, you can receive benefits based on your ex spouse's records as long as you were married for at least 10 years. Now, if your second spouse is still alive, you may be eligible for spousal benefits based on his records as well as widow's benefits based on your first spouse's records. If your second spouse died, you can receive widow's benefits based on the second spouse's records. But you can only collect one benefits at the time. If you applied for any type of social security benefits before your full retirement age, the social security will automatically pay you the highest benefits available to you. So it is important to strait up the records to make sure you are receiving the correct benefits: widow, spousal or your own.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Well I guess I will tell them that I was married for over 10 years to husband no 2 who is still alive. Btw husband no 2 is 18 yrs younger than me. Can ss take away my widow benefit of 1800. Per month that I am getting from deceased husband no 1 because of my being married for over 10 years to husband number 2 who is still alive? Remember I am divorced from number 2.....
Expert:  emc011075 replied 11 months ago.

As long as you are currently unmarried, not married to anybody, you can receive window's benefits based on your first husband's records.

If your second husband is 18 years younger he is probably not eligible for his own benefits just yet, so you are not eligible for the spousal benefits based on the second spouse records. One of the requirement to receive spousal benefits is that the spouse must be eligible or currently collecting social security benefits.

That being said, updating the record will not change your benefits but I would still request the correction. It may cause problems in the future.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you
Expert:  emc011075 replied 11 months ago.

You're welcome.