Ask Terry Questions SS Benefits I may have been cheated out of

SS Benefits I may have been cheated out of

By Terry Savage on July 14, 2018 | Wild Card

Hi Terry, Yesterday on WGN TV you caught my attention when talking about SS Benefits for a Spouse. My late husband died in January 1997. He was 46 as so was I. When I went to the SS Board I was told I could not collect because I had no children. The lady said it’s not a benefit for wives. We were married 25 years and to this day I don’t understand it. I’d like to know who is getting money that should be mine. I am remarried and now 67, is there anything I can do about it? Please advise or help me anyway possible. I would greatly appreciate it. My name then was Regina Banasiak and maiden name Sowinski. Thank you so much! Regina Vahldick

Terry Says

Well, this is a bit confusing. I’m not sure how old you were when you went to ask about collecting your late spouse’s SS benefits. But you can’t collect on an ex-spouse (assuming you were married at least 10 years) UNTIL YOU REACH FULL RETIREMENT AGE. I’m guessing you are just now reaching that point. And so you can have the Social Security administration calculate for you whether you will be better of collecting on your late husband’s account, or on your own work record, or if you haven’t been working on your current spouse’s record — assuming he has reached full retirement age. (And in fact, if your current spouse is much younger, or not planning to take his SS til age 70, you may be able to collect for a while on your previous husband’s account, and then switch later! Ask about that, as the rules recently changed and I’m not exactly sure where you would fit in this situation.)

They will be happy to do the calculations for you and you can make the decision. But no one else has been collecting on your former husband’s account — except to the extent that SS is pretty will underfunded and money paid in is going out to all retirees right now!



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