Is There A Loophole Somewhere?

May 6 2017 - 9:34am

Hello,
I am 66. My husband died April 11, 2017. I was informed because I receive a $3000.00 retirement check monthly that I'm ineligible for any widows benefits.
I don't receive any ss money because I worked for the city of Dallas and at that time they did not take out social security payments. I worked there 26 years
I know of other people who receive both pensions and ss from deceased spouses. Is there a loop hole somewhere ?
I'm physically unable to work very much or very long. Am I too old and/or is it too late to try for disabled widow benefits ?
Thank you for Any help you can give me.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Since your pension is apparently based on your work that was exempt from Social Security taxes, your widow's benefits would likely be subject to the Government Pension Offset (GPO) provision. If that's the case, your widow's benefits would be offset by 2/3rds of the gross amount of your non-covered pension. So, if the gross amount of your pension is $3000, your widow's benefit rate would have to be more than $2000 in order for you to receive any widow's benefits.

There are exceptions to the GPO provision, which are described in this Social Security publication: https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10007.pdf. If you think that you might meet one of these exceptions, or if your widow's rate would be more than 2/3rds of your pension amount, you should file a claim for widow's benefits. Also, you can apply for a one-time death benefit of $255 on your husband's record regardless of your non-covered pension.

Disabled widow's benefits are only payable up until age 60, and those benefits can be subject to GPO as well.

Best, Jerry