Ask Larry

What Should I Do About The Notice I Received From Social Security About My Claim?

I received a letter from Social Security Administration (Retirement, Survivors, and Disability Insurance) denying my application for a spousal benefit. I specifically stated my application was for a spousal benefit, not benefits based on my own work record. Regardless, the letter informed me that I could not be paid because I had not worked long enough under Social Security. I only have 27 quarters under Social Security and was fully aware I was not eligible for benefits on my own work record. I stated in the application that I was requesting a spousal benefit. The letter essentially responded to a request I did not make. However, the letter also said that I was not due any other Social Security benefits. I am 66 years old. I am a U.S. citizen. I am married to the same person since 1981. I have never been married to anyone else. My spouse retired in June 2012 and began receiving Social Security at age 70. He is now 79. My understanding is that I am eligible for a spousal benefit. So, what should I do? Thank you.

Hi. Social Security applications are considered as applications for all types of benefits. In fact, the same online application is used for both retirement benefits and spousal benefits. So, even if you applied for spousal benefits, Social Security would also consider the application to be for retirement benefits.

The wording you quote from the notice you received sounds like a disallowance notice for retirement benefits, not spousal benefits. It's possible that Social Security is still working on your claim for spousal benefits even though the notice refers to you not being eligible for any other benefits. I would suggest calling Social Security to make sure that your claim for spousal benefits is still pending. If they say that your spousal claim has in fact been denied, then you should probably file an appeal (

Best, Jerry

Apr 21 2022 - 6:04pm
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