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Applying for SS Widow Benefits
Old 11-15-2016, 08:08 PM   #1
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Applying for SS Widow Benefits

DH died this morning- a relief after his life and activities becoming more and more limited since it was determined that his acute myeloid leukemia wasn't responding to treatment in late August. Thanks to hospice, he died peacefully at home in a cloud of Lorazepam, Haldol and morphine, which was what we both wanted.

So-o-o- I cope in times like this by doing organized, analytical things I can control. I got on the SS site and found I need to give back his last payment, received last week. Oops. Then I looked at the list of info they need and panicked a bit.

Background: DH was 78, started collecting at 65. Iím 63, retired, planning to wait till age 70 to collect on my own record, which will exceed the Widowís benefit. DH was married twice before. Wife #1 is likely collecting SS- donít know if itís on her own or DHís record (married well over 10 years). Wife #2 is deceased. I was married once before- the Ex started collecting on his own record at age 62 and died in 2010.
I can get hold of DHís birth certificate, his death certificate, our marriage certificate, etc. It appears they have a lot of Qs about the previous marriages I canít answer. Wife #1 was not on good terms with DH although Iím on very good terms with their son so I may be able to get elementary info like her date of birth off the top of his head. Not likely I can get other stuff they mention like date of divorce. Iím even less likely to get that info on Wife #2. I know her first name. Thatís it. She was a dear friend of a mutual friend of DH and me, whom I just called today- but not sure what the mutual friend would know.
So, am I going to need all those gory details? And I assume widowís benefits start as of 11/1 so that what I have to give back is offset somewhat. I canít do anything till I get the death certificate and then Iíll fly into action. Cash flow is not an issue, but Iíd appreciate any insight people c
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:17 PM   #2
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My sincere condolences, athena53. Although this was expected, bereavement is always a shock. I understand your need to organize as this is exactly how I handle similar situations. I can't help you with the details. Just know that it will all get sorted eventually. It doesn't have to be completed today. For now, lean on all of your close friends and family and give yourself permission to grieve.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:39 PM   #3
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Note that social security acutally pays in arrears i.e. the payment you recieved in Nov was actually for Oct. It worked this way when I started in last year ask for a may start got first payment in June. So I suspect (check with SS to be sure I did find a brochure on the web that stated this here is a link to another place that discusses this Social Security Benefits Are not Paid for the Month of Death: A Fact Sheet So there would be no payment in Dec for Nov, because he died in Novbut the payment you have/will recieve will be for Oct. So if I read the link correctly you don't have anything to pay back, unless you get a dec payment.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:39 PM   #4
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So sorry for your loss. Please allow yourself some time to grieve. I agree with Meadbh, the details can wait and will work out. Please take care.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:40 PM   #5
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My condolences. Was going to write basically what Meadbh did but he stated it better. Take care of yourself too in this process.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:47 PM   #6
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My condolences. As a widower, I went on line and found a number of grief support chatrooms. Take you time to sort things out.
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Old 11-15-2016, 08:56 PM   #7
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Call the SS office and when they offer a "call back" sign up for that, don't wait on hold forever. They are really good and can do a lot of searching for you and let you know the status of whatever.

Yeah, take it easy and go with the flow.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:12 PM   #8
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I am so sorry for your loss. I understand your need to dig into objective 'get stuff done' mode... I handle high stress situations that way, also.

I don't have answers for you on the specifics but marriage and divorce information is usually pubic record... so you might be able to find that information from the counties where they were married and divorced.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:13 PM   #9
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Athena53, my condolences also. Take you time to sort things out.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:26 PM   #10
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I don't have answers for you on the specifics but marriage and divorce information is usually pubic record... so you might be able to find that information from the counties where they were married and divorced.

Thanks-that might be dicey for DH's second marriage; she obtained a quickie divorce in the Dominican Republic which was recognized in Massachusetts, where she'd moved, but DH thinks it may not have been legal in NJ where he was still living. Don't tell anyone. ;-)
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:29 PM   #11
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Sincere condolences.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:30 PM   #12
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My condolences.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:38 PM   #13
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Like others, sorry for your loss... I think it is easier when you know it is time... my sister lost her husband with no notice... it was a big shock and took a year of grief counseling... he has been gone for 9 years, but she still talks to him...


I did not help her with getting widow benefits... she went to the office and they took care of everything... she asked about benefits based on her first husband, but they said he needed to pass before she could get anything....

I would recommend getting on the phone or if there is an office close just go in... sis said they were always very helpful....
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:42 PM   #14
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I am sorry for your loss.

When my mom died, social security retrieved the most recent direct deposit right back out of my parents' bank account.

Also, I'm sure you know there is a one time $255 payment to the surviving spouse.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:48 PM   #15
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Thanks- it's good to know last week's payment won't have to be returned. I'll keep DH's bank account open long enough for them to deposit and retract it if necessary. I have login info. We have an SS office nearby; I'll need to get the death certificate first. DH always found the office in KS, where we lived until the middle of last year, very helpful.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:48 PM   #16
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My deepest sympathy to you.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:48 PM   #17
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Quote:
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I am sorry for your loss.

When my mom died, social security retrieved the most recent direct deposit right back out of my parents' bank account.

Also, I'm sure you know there is a one time $255 payment to the surviving spouse.
How did the date of death compare to the end of the month. The articles discuss how someone dieing late in the month could have this situation, but not early in the month. I.E. someone dies in late oct and still gets the payment for nov, thus due back. In the case here the 14 is still early enough that if the funeral director notifies SS soon enough there will be no payment made in Dec.
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Old 11-15-2016, 09:55 PM   #18
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My suggestion is that when you go to the SS office you just present your marriage certificate and his death certificate. Tell them that you really don't know the details of his previous marriage(s). Let them come back to you if they find an issue.
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:03 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by athena53 View Post
Thanks- it's good to know last week's payment won't have to be returned. I'll keep DH's bank account open long enough for them to deposit and retract it if necessary. I have login info. We have an SS office nearby; I'll need to get the death certificate first. DH always found the office in KS, where we lived until the middle of last year, very helpful.
technically unless your name is actually on the account it is illegal to log to that account. It really needs to wait until the estate is opened if one is going to be opened did he leave a will or is his estate so small that no will was needed/ estate need be opened. You need to check to find out if an estate needs to be opened due to real estate. One thing you might do if you don't already know is figure out how much he was worth (which differs between community property and non community property states also)
The estate can't be opened before a death certificate is issued but if it looks like one might be needed you could start looking for a lawyer.
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Old 11-15-2016, 10:10 PM   #20
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I am sorry for your loss, athena53.

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