Are Social Security Rules Different Depending On The State In Which You Live?

Mar 22 2017 - 8:00am

Hi Larry, I need to know if the rules for SS is different from one State to another? I have two friends in Virginia, and both of them gets disability, plus both of their husbands are deceased and they draw a widows pension also. I tried to go draw on my exhusbands pension and was told I had to give up my SS to get his and it was over two hundred dollars less. The friends were not married to their husbands at the time. I hope you can help, thank you for your help, SaNdY

Hi Sandy,

No, Social Security rules aren't different from one state to another, but some of the various state laws can make a difference in entitlement. For example, common law marriages are recognized in some states but not others, which could determine whether or not a person qualifies for Social Security spousal benefits.

However, that doesn't appear to be an issue in your case. If you are drawing your own retirement benefits, you could only qualify for additional divorced spousal benefits if 50% of your ex-husband's full retirement age rate is higher than your own full retirement age rate (PIA). If your ex dies before you, you could be eligible for additional survivor benefits from his record if his full benefit rate is higher than what you receive on your own record.

Best, Jerry