Shouldn't My Brother Be Eligible For Benefits?

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Jun 17 2019 - 8:09am

My brother blind, he lost his sight in 1982 in a car accident. He does not have 40 credits and he is 68 years old. He collected SSI for a few years and then it was stopped due to some change in the law. His wife is now 66 years of age and filed for social security. According to Social Security, her husband is still not entitled to any benefits. Please advise?

Hi,

Assuming that your brother and his wife have been legally married for at least a year and if he isn't already drawing Social Security benefits, then it certainly sounds like he should be eligible for spousal benefits on his wife's record as soon as she starts drawing her Social Security retirement benefits (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.03/handbook-0305.html). Since your brother is already over full retirement age (FRA), he could qualify for unreduced spousal benefits even if he wasn't blind or disabled.

Regardless of what your brother has been told by Social Security, he has a right to apply for spousal benefits in order to get a formal determination of his eligibility. He should be able to apply either online (https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/) or by phone or in person at a Social Security office. If his claim is denied for some reason, the disallowance notice should explain the reason for the denial and your brother would then have appeal rights.

Best, Jerry