Is Social Security Correct In Saying That I Don't Qualify For Widower Benefits?

Mar 4 2020 - 3:14pm

I'm confused.
Social security told me that I was not eligible to receive widower benefits because my spouse had a private pension plan. Also I had to be 60 or 50 and disabled. Well I had been disabled since since I was 52 and it was documented by the V.A that was the last time I had worked. Also yes my spouse did have a private pension plan, but she also worked a second job with social security taken out.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Whether or not your deceased wife had a private pension plan, as long as she was insured for Social Security benefits you could potentially qualify for widower benefits if and when you meet the requirements. Those requirements are outlined in the following section of Social Security's handbook: https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0401.html.

I have no way of knowing whether or not you meet the requirements for widower or disabled widower benefits, but I would advise you not to simply take the word of a Social Security representative at face value. They are not infallible, and some are undertrained and ill-informed. Regardless of what you were told you can insist on filing an application for Social Security benefits (https://secure.ssa.gov/apps10/poms.nsf/lnx/0200201005), and if Social Security formally disallows your claim you would then have appeal rights.

Best, Jerry