Ask Terry Questions Social Security Widow Benefits

Social Security Widow Benefits

By Terry Savage on January 23, 2024 | Wild Card

In 2021 I contacted the SSA because it was my understanding that I qualified for widow benefits under my deceased husband (he died in 1985 and my child and I received survivor benefits until no longer eligible). I was told no, since I remarried before I turned 60 (even though it ended in divorce) I was not eligible. I called again in 2022 because numerous people told me that didn’t sound right. Told the same thing again. So, I waited until 4 months before my 62nd birthday and just applied for early benefits on my record. Lo and behold, the man working my application contacted me to let me know I qualified for widow benefits, which as it turns out are almost double what I was going to receive under my own record. He backdated my application to the date I originally filed and it was approved. My question is: does SSA keep a call log? Anyway to prove I originally attempted to get information on applying for these benefits 3 years ago? I’m grateful for being to draw what I was just approved for, but for I had to leave my job and move in with my elderly parents to care for them (Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s). I’ve been getting by on a small hobby income and having to rely on my parents social security and savings (with their permission of course) to supplement my income to pay bills I had when I moved in to take care of them. I’m a little angry that I was entitled to benefits and misinformed!

Thank you.

Terry Says

Let me say clearly that at least half of the information given out by SS is completely wrong! They have no idea of the multitude of rules. We state that in the preface to our new book –Social Security Horror Stories!
Thank goodness you found someone who could set it straight, albeit 3 years too late. And no, they can come back at you — but if you didn’t — for whatever reason — sign up for benefits you were owed, then you can’t claim them later.

Just fyi, here is the SS regulation on widow’s benefits:,2%20Your%20remarriage%20occurs%20after%20you%20become%20disabled.

And finally, NO — they do not seem to keep any kind of call log, because it would likely expose all their mistakes! It’s another pet peeve of ours. And we are working with the Treasury Department to get big changes made!



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