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I was declined a lump sum spousal distribution of $255

because I was not living...
I was declined a lump sum spousal distribution of $255 because I was not living with my husband at the time of his death. I guess this is a perfectly legit reason per SSA. however, will that affect my future payments from my husband's social security? We were married ca. 20 years at the time of his death. We had separated two months prior to his death - not divorced, however. I have handled all his estate matters and have paid everything out of my own pocket since his death. I'm so frustrated. I'm being nickeled and dimed to death since his passing. I just wanted to get away from an alcoholic. It's been a nightmare and I can't even get $255 from the government.
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Answered in 8 minutes by:
2/19/2017
Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13,594
Experience: 22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
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Hi, my name is***** have been practicing SS LAW full time for 10+ years and look forward to assisting you.

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Yes, you are right, that is an SS rule, spouse must be living with. However, that has NO bearing on any future widow benefit you can collect later. None at all. Had you divorced him prior to death, in fact, you'd STILL be eligible like a living with spouse, for a full 100% benefit. (It is 100% if you wait to start collecting it til your full retirement age, but would be as low as 71.5% if you took at 60.)

I am very sorry for all that you have been going through.

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I would add that if you were to remarry before 60, you can't get a widow benefit on his work record, but you can if you marry after age 60.

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Also, remember that you only get one benefit, your own work record amount or a widow benefit, not both, not stacked. So you may want to do the math to decide which will be the one "forever", and how you can collect perhaps one before the other, than switch, so that you let the one that is capable of growing the biggest, be left untouched til is maximizes, while collecting the smaller, than switching.

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

Kindly rate me with 5 stars when you are done. It costs nothing extra but tells company to give me credit for my assistance to you today. 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.

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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13,594
Experience: 22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.
Verified
Stephanie O Joy, Esq and 87 other Social Security Specialists are ready to help you
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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
Stephanie thank you for your response. There's always a hook. Oh well it was only $255. Sad but thats kinda how its been playing out. I try to do the right thing and be honest and it beats me up. Sorry it been a tough day. Again thank you.

I hope the widow benefits are beneficial to you!

Also, had you changed your drivers license and rented an apartment, or had you just moved to take a breather and decide what to do. I.e. were you "visiting" friends or actually living apart indefinitely. My thought is that if the former, that may make a difference.

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Customer reply replied 1 year ago
No i moved out the end of last october and had started divorce proceeding. He was an alcoholic and i had reached the breaking point. I checked on him almost daily but just couldn't live with him anymore. No change in drivers license. He passed away in Dec

I am sorry for his troubles too, and hope he is in a better place. I wish you the peace and strength to embrace the next of life's years, and make them yours, yours, yours.

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Stephanie O Joy, Esq
Stephanie O Joy, Esq, Soc. Sec. Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 13,594
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Experience: 22+ years legal exp. - 12+ years owning/operating her own SSD Law practice.

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