Subject: SSA Spousal Benefit Denial Hearing
I'm contacting you because I read your article published by Forbes online on 7/3/2016. Can you provide any advice about submitting a request for hearing as a result of my being denied SSA spousal benefits I was entitled
to? In a nutshell, I made numerous inquiries both in person and via telephone call with SSA, asking for information about spousal benefits. Each time, my inquiry was dismissed by informing me I'm not eligible (which I was/am). No one asked what my birthday is, etc. Essentially, I was denied my due benefit. Finally, on a fourth attempt, in
person with my (now late) husband present, an SSA rep filled out paperwork for me. I am now receiving my late husband's benefit, but due to timing I was never able to file and suspend. I believe I should have received retroactive benefit at least 6 months prior to the the date for which I received benefits. I missed out on my opportunity to file and suspend before my husband's death, because the benefit was not explained, or any information offered, after/during my numerous requests. Before I complete the SSA-501 form, I'm hoping you can provide advice that will assist me in prevailing. Thank you.
Unfortunately, I don't have enough information to be able to give you an opinion on the merits of your case. It's certainly possible to get a deemed filing date established, which might permit an earlier date of benefit entitlement, if you received misinformation from a Social Security representative. The rules regarding that situation are covered in the following section of Social Security's operations manual: https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200204008. However, I simply don't know enough about your specific circumstances to know if misinformation would apply in your case, nor whether that would permit an earlier date of entitlement to benefits that would be more advantageous than what you currently have.
I can't imagine any circumstance in which filing for and suspending your benefits would have been advantageous, though, so I don't understand why you'd want to do that. Sorry that I can't be of more help.