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Ask Dr. Fiona Chen Your Own Question
Dr. Fiona Chen
Dr. Fiona Chen, Certified Public Accountant (CPA)
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 482
Experience:  Former IRS Revenue Agent
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I have social security on my own. My spouse died on 6/2. I

Customer Question

I have social security on my own. My spouse died on 6/2. I recently applied for survivors benefit and received a denial letter. I do not understand why. I requested reimbursement for cremation and to get my spouse's social security as it is more than mine.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  Dr. Fiona Chen replied 1 year ago.

Dear Customer,

I am sorry about your loss. Concerning the survival benefit SSA question:

The SSA is the final authority. You still want to verify with them. Maybe you want to go to an SSA office to inquire with a representative face to face.

However, here, we have several analysis.

1) The remaining spouse and/or child should be able to receive a one time lump sum death benefit of $255.

2) The possibilities of the reasons for your denial of survival benefit include such as:

a) The SSA does not have sufficient information on you or your marriage, and you need to get them more information and documentation.

b) At your age, as of now, to apply for your husband's survival benefit, because you are not at full retirement age yet, with the discount and in comparison to your own retirement, your own retirement is till higher than the survival benefit.

c) By the time of your husband's passing, you did not marry with your husband for more than 9 months.

Enclosed below are several social security website publications on the subject including one on women and social security.

Please feel free to follow up.


Fiona Chen, MPA, Ph.D., CPA, ABV, CFF, CITP