Don't know if anyone else has this problem, but my Kevin was on SS Disabiltiy prior to death, & I finally filed for social security on him last year ( I am 62).  Get this; SS is only paying me for 4 mos this year based on what I make. I lost my job due to bankrupcy,etc, 3 mos after he died; found another fob 4 mos later @ $4 less an hour.  OK, so I had 2 incomes, & now only 1 @ less $ & SS won't pay me all year based on what I make.  That was his money he worked all his life for, & I can't get it all year. How crazy is that???Finacially, I am really hurting, & I mostly blame our (not so) wonderful government.  It's enough that I don't have him, but he would be so unhappy at how I am struggling with $!

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I work for Social Security and I feel the pain all of you are expressing. Keep in mind that anyone receiving Social Security benefits based on a "disability" is not the same as receiving for retirement. It comes from the same trust fund but in many if not most cases the disability payments started way before our spouses reached retirement age. We are NOT entitled to "their" money. Widow/widower benefits -- of course, but if you are working it will be reduced or not payable due to excess wages. When our spouses were alive and receiving Social Security they would have lost benefits as well if they worked. It isn't the best plan but it is what we have. I am not saying I agree with the way the rules are written, but keep in mind that CONGRESS writes all of the rules and regulations for Social Security. It is not the employee at Social Security that is saying "NO" -- it is what CONGRESS mandates. The same Congress that DOES NOT contribute to Social Security by the way!! My husband was on Social Security disability and I don't get any of those benefits either. If I choose to retire before my full retirement age (66) I can apply for widow benefits at a reduction and then switch to my own record. And please keep one last thing in mind -- illegals are NOT drawing from the Social Security trust fund that our spouses or the rest of the working class are making contributions to. They are receiving Supplemental Security Income (WELFARE) -- a completely different funding process -- but not from the retirement system set up through Social Security. Is it unfair? Do not think it is easy for me to have to process such claims or tell a widow/widower NO -- I am in the same boat as all of you. The entire system is in dire need of reevaluation, and our voices are the first step.
Brigitte, Thanks for your imput as a SS worker, who has to deal with rules set up by a Congress who themselves don't receive these beneifts. Pretty much means they don't care!! I guess I was confused on SSI due to it having SS in name; I thought it was under SS. Bottom line, the rules suck! I'm making a lot less $ now & had 2 incomes before, so have trouble seeing a way to pay the bills I have to pay to live the modest life I have. Guess it's crazy to think it's a consolation to be getting older. I'm 62 1/2 & was told every year I will receive more on the widow's benefit from SS. Yeah for getting older. As it is, I'll have to work into my 70's to pay all off my bills.

Brigitte said:
I work for Social Security and I feel the pain all of you are expressing. Keep in mind that anyone receiving Social Security benefits based on a "disability" is not the same as receiving for retirement. It comes from the same trust fund but in many if not most cases the disability payments started way before our spouses reached retirement age. We are NOT entitled to "their" money. Widow/widower benefits -- of course, but if you are working it will be reduced or not payable due to excess wages. When our spouses were alive and receiving Social Security they would have lost benefits as well if they worked. It isn't the best plan but it is what we have. I am not saying I agree with the way the rules are written, but keep in mind that CONGRESS writes all of the rules and regulations for Social Security. It is not the employee at Social Security that is saying "NO" -- it is what CONGRESS mandates. The same Congress that DOES NOT contribute to Social Security by the way!! My husband was on Social Security disability and I don't get any of those benefits either. If I choose to retire before my full retirement age (66) I can apply for widow benefits at a reduction and then switch to my own record. And please keep one last thing in mind -- illegals are NOT drawing from the Social Security trust fund that our spouses or the rest of the working class are making contributions to. They are receiving Supplemental Security Income (WELFARE) -- a completely different funding process -- but not from the retirement system set up through Social Security. Is it unfair? Do not think it is easy for me to have to process such claims or tell a widow/widower NO -- I am in the same boat as all of you. The entire system is in dire need of reevaluation, and our voices are the first step.
Brigitte...maybe you can answer something for me. We got a letter saying Dale would not receive his Sept 2010 check. He was on disability. From looking at the internet it says that payments are for the month before. He received a check on 9/3 and died on 9/5. Will we have to pay that check back or are they talking about the one he would have gotten on 10/3?

Brigitte said:
I work for Social Security and I feel the pain all of you are expressing. Keep in mind that anyone receiving Social Security benefits based on a "disability" is not the same as receiving for retirement. It comes from the same trust fund but in many if not most cases the disability payments started way before our spouses reached retirement age. We are NOT entitled to "their" money. Widow/widower benefits -- of course, but if you are working it will be reduced or not payable due to excess wages. When our spouses were alive and receiving Social Security they would have lost benefits as well if they worked. It isn't the best plan but it is what we have. I am not saying I agree with the way the rules are written, but keep in mind that CONGRESS writes all of the rules and regulations for Social Security. It is not the employee at Social Security that is saying "NO" -- it is what CONGRESS mandates. The same Congress that DOES NOT contribute to Social Security by the way!! My husband was on Social Security disability and I don't get any of those benefits either. If I choose to retire before my full retirement age (66) I can apply for widow benefits at a reduction and then switch to my own record. And please keep one last thing in mind -- illegals are NOT drawing from the Social Security trust fund that our spouses or the rest of the working class are making contributions to. They are receiving Supplemental Security Income (WELFARE) -- a completely different funding process -- but not from the retirement system set up through Social Security. Is it unfair? Do not think it is easy for me to have to process such claims or tell a widow/widower NO -- I am in the same boat as all of you. The entire system is in dire need of reevaluation, and our voices are the first step.
Hi Nancey,

I am sure Brigitte will answer this, but I think I can since I had the same thing happen to me. SS is paid for the previous month in the current month. My husband died on May 1, we usually got his check the third Wednesday of the month, which would have been on May 19 for April. Well my bank sent it back since they knew he had died, I was in there getting my daughters name on my accounts in case something happened to me. It would have been for April's Social Security. I had to fill out a form, send in my Marriage license and three months later I finally got the check. They told me I did have April's check coming to me since he died May 1, but they said a person needs to live the whole month in order to get SS for that month.
So I would think that the check you got on Sept 3. was for August, and you can keep that, but Sept. Social Security ended, so you would not get a check on Oct 3 for September because he didn't live the whole month of September.
Confusing right? That's our government for you. I remember expecting that check on May 19. I had funeral expenses, plus all the other bills. Even though they told me right away that I was entitled to it, I had to go through hoops to finally get my check. I thought to myself then, this is sad, you lose you husband, your life completely changes, your going through all this grief, and the government just makes it tougher on you. Crazy...

Nancey said:
Brigitte...maybe you can answer something for me. We got a letter saying Dale would not receive his Sept 2010 check. He was on disability. From looking at the internet it says that payments are for the month before. He received a check on 9/3 and died on 9/5. Will we have to pay that check back or are they talking about the one he would have gotten on 10/3?

Brigitte said:
I work for Social Security and I feel the pain all of you are expressing. Keep in mind that anyone receiving Social Security benefits based on a "disability" is not the same as receiving for retirement. It comes from the same trust fund but in many if not most cases the disability payments started way before our spouses reached retirement age. We are NOT entitled to "their" money. Widow/widower benefits -- of course, but if you are working it will be reduced or not payable due to excess wages. When our spouses were alive and receiving Social Security they would have lost benefits as well if they worked. It isn't the best plan but it is what we have. I am not saying I agree with the way the rules are written, but keep in mind that CONGRESS writes all of the rules and regulations for Social Security. It is not the employee at Social Security that is saying "NO" -- it is what CONGRESS mandates. The same Congress that DOES NOT contribute to Social Security by the way!! My husband was on Social Security disability and I don't get any of those benefits either. If I choose to retire before my full retirement age (66) I can apply for widow benefits at a reduction and then switch to my own record. And please keep one last thing in mind -- illegals are NOT drawing from the Social Security trust fund that our spouses or the rest of the working class are making contributions to. They are receiving Supplemental Security Income (WELFARE) -- a completely different funding process -- but not from the retirement system set up through Social Security. Is it unfair? Do not think it is easy for me to have to process such claims or tell a widow/widower NO -- I am in the same boat as all of you. The entire system is in dire need of reevaluation, and our voices are the first step.
You are correct. Any check received from Social Security, whether for retirement or disability is for the previous month. So, if someone dies after the first of a given month they are NOT entitled for the check for that month which is paid the following month. Douglas died on July 17, 2009 and I did NOT get a check on August 3, 2009 because he was not alive the entire month of July. I know, the rules bite, but agaiin, CONGRESS makes these rules. The only way we can make change is to make our voices heard --mine included. It is so difficult for me as well. I am an employee of SSA and yet I have had to go through the same red tape as all of you. Trust me, if I had any influence on making this easier I would. I have to also go through this entire ordeal with the VA -- now that is a government agency that is messed up!! I am happy to answer any SSA questions that I can -- I can't give advice but I certainly can direct you to the correct place! Hugs to all. Brigitte

Nancey said:
Brigitte...maybe you can answer something for me. We got a letter saying Dale would not receive his Sept 2010 check. He was on disability. From looking at the internet it says that payments are for the month before. He received a check on 9/3 and died on 9/5. Will we have to pay that check back or are they talking about the one he would have gotten on 10/3?

Brigitte said:
I work for Social Security and I feel the pain all of you are expressing. Keep in mind that anyone receiving Social Security benefits based on a "disability" is not the same as receiving for retirement. It comes from the same trust fund but in many if not most cases the disability payments started way before our spouses reached retirement age. We are NOT entitled to "their" money. Widow/widower benefits -- of course, but if you are working it will be reduced or not payable due to excess wages. When our spouses were alive and receiving Social Security they would have lost benefits as well if they worked. It isn't the best plan but it is what we have. I am not saying I agree with the way the rules are written, but keep in mind that CONGRESS writes all of the rules and regulations for Social Security. It is not the employee at Social Security that is saying "NO" -- it is what CONGRESS mandates. The same Congress that DOES NOT contribute to Social Security by the way!! My husband was on Social Security disability and I don't get any of those benefits either. If I choose to retire before my full retirement age (66) I can apply for widow benefits at a reduction and then switch to my own record. And please keep one last thing in mind -- illegals are NOT drawing from the Social Security trust fund that our spouses or the rest of the working class are making contributions to. They are receiving Supplemental Security Income (WELFARE) -- a completely different funding process -- but not from the retirement system set up through Social Security. Is it unfair? Do not think it is easy for me to have to process such claims or tell a widow/widower NO -- I am in the same boat as all of you. The entire system is in dire need of reevaluation, and our voices are the first step.
Bridgitte,
So if I'm reading what you said correctly. How come, if my husband died 2/7 and the check that was deposited 2/16 was for January, how come they took it back? That happened to my mom also when my dad died. I think they figure most people are clueless, so they can get away with it. I do appreciate your input as I am sure others do also.
I agree the VA is worse. My first husband was a 100% disabled veteran and he died of that disability. So now that I am widowed again, I can get survivors benefits again from his benefit. It has been over 7 months and I am still waiting. The local VA office tells me it isn't a matter of if I will get it, but when. I'll believe it when I see it.
Thanks again for the information.
Thank you Brigitte for the information.
Everyone thanks for sharing your stories. I hope and pray that everyone will advise married couples of this situation, so they can make arrangements in case of the loss of a spouse. My husband applied for disability while he was ill. He passed away 2/7/09. He was approved 2/9/09 for SS disability. What a slap in the face. Social Security did send me the back pay, but that's it. I'm not entitled to it. Good luck everyone. God Bless.
Mary, I am a retired Social Security employee after 33 1/2 years there. I agree with Brigitte..please remember that it is Congress, past and present, who have set guidelines for Social Security benefits. The check for your husband deposited on 2/16, for the month of January, should have been reissued to you in your name. It may have been combined with the $255 benefit that was paid. You should have gotten your "Notice of Award" telling you. If you are unable to tell that you have received it, call or go by your local Social Security office and they can verify and explain for you. Thank you, Brigitte, for explaining that "illegals" do not receive Social Security but rather SSI (Supplemental Security Income)! SSI took the place of State welfare payments in 1974 and is not based on any amount "paid in" by the disabled or aged individual.
By the way, when my ex-husband went into the nursing home, all of his income went there too. My household expenses did not change. At the end of the first year and any thereafter, I had to pay federal income tax on his Social Security benefits because of my earnings--even though I received not one penny of his Social Security. Widows do seem to have a harder time financially; it certainly makes a difference when you lose one income from a household of two!! I've been there and know how it feels! There are many of the regulations with which I do not agree, but Social Security is a great system. Hugs to everyone!!

Mary said:
Bridgitte,
So if I'm reading what you said correctly. How come, if my husband died 2/7 and the check that was deposited 2/16 was for January, how come they took it back? That happened to my mom also when my dad died. I think they figure most people are clueless, so they can get away with it. I do appreciate your input as I am sure others do also.
I agree the VA is worse. My first husband was a 100% disabled veteran and he died of that disability. So now that I am widowed again, I can get survivors benefits again from his benefit. It has been over 7 months and I am still waiting. The local VA office tells me it isn't a matter of if I will get it, but when. I'll believe it when I see it.
Thanks again for the information.

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