Sunday, July 27, 2008

Dinner Table Talk

Question : Mr. Tomkiel,

Your Social Security Benefits Handbook has generated some interesting conversations at our dinner table. The father of my wife's cousin died when his daughter was 2 1/2 years old. If I correctly understand Section 404.3 on page 81, The application for Survivors' Benefits for that daughter "usually should be filed within six months of the date of death." Her mother was unaware that her daughter might have been eligible for benefits, so has not applied for benefits. The daughter is currently more than 40 years old. Is there any possibility of collecting any of the monies that probably would have been paid many years ago if an application had been submitted, or have benefits been lost due to the elapsed time?

I look forward to your response.

Jack from New York State

Answer: Sorry, but the six-month limitation applies. The time has long passed to apply for those benefits. But it never hurts to ask. I must say though that I am flattered that my book has generated dinner table conversation at your house!

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