Monday, October 4, 2010

Remarried Widow

Charmaine from South Carolina

Dear sir, i am going to try to collect on my late husband's ssi benefits. the trouble is i am 61, married, he died in'86. but a rep. from s.s. told me i should apply anyway because i was not made aware all that time i might be eligible. can you give me some advice as to if i might still be qualified? thanks, Mrs. F.

ANSWER: Well Mrs. F, if you remarried after age 60, you can be eligible on your departed husband's account for Social Security widow's benefits. If you think you may qualify, you should take the SS rep's advice and apply, and you shouldn't wait because there is no retroactivity for such an application. This means that you cannot get benefits for any month before the date of the application. But if you filed a “protective filing statement” the date you filed that will be used as the application date. I will be posting an article very soon about using Protective Filing Statements to maximize the payout of benefits. By the way, you mentioned your husband's “SSI” benefits. I assume, maybe incorrectly, that you meant SSA rather than SSI, which is a federal welfare program based on need, not SS work credits. You can't collect SSI on a SS account, it strictley is nased on your income and assets, as well as being aged, blind or totally disabled.


Anonymous said...

Charmaine writes: Mr. Tomkiel, I did not get married after 60 yrs. of age. I was married 7 yrs. ago. Do i still somehow qualify for disabled widows benefits? The SS rep. told me to go ahead and apply anyway. That i probably do qualify. Please, if you could give me some help on this, I would be so grateful!! Thank you, Charmaine

Attorney Tomkiel said...

ANSWER: If you were disabled at the time you re-married, you can possibly be eligible for disabled widow's benefits if you are at least age 50. SS will disregard a remarriage after age 50 if you were disabled at the time of the remarriage. BUT, and this is a big but in your case, their rules say that they disregard such a marriage only if the claimant at the time of the application is "at least age 50 but not age 60," RS 00207.003- here's the link: Since you are applying after age 60, they may deny your claim. Nevertheless you should apply and get a formal decision from them. I don't know all the facts of your case. If you contacted SSA before you turned 60 they may have recorded that and can use it as a protective filing statement, which would bring your application date back to that time. So please, file the application no matter what. All the best to you Charmaine,