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Issues in Social Security Proof of Marriage

Issues in Social Security Proof of Marriage

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Published by Deborah Sexton
India and Vance had been married for 27 years at his death. When she turned 62 she applied for widows benefits
India and Vance had been married for 27 years at his death. When she turned 62 she applied for widows benefits

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Published by: Deborah Sexton on May 25, 2012
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05/13/2014

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Issues in Social Security – Proof of Marriage India and Vance had been married for 27 years at his death

. When she turned 62 she applied for widows benefits. Social Security requires as part of the application for Widows benefits that she show proof of marriage. India could not find her marriage certificate. She requested a copy from the Bureau of Vital Statistics in the state where she and Vance were married and was told they had no record of her marriage. What does she do now? Social Security tries to help people who are applying for benefits in any way that they can to get the documentation a claimant needs to get benefits. When you cannot provide primary documents when applying for benefits they will take secondary proof of entitlement. In this scenario, Social Security regulations state that they will accept the following as alternate proof of ceremonial marriage. • • • • A signed statement from the clergy or other official marriage or Statements of witnesses Photos of the ceremony Newspaper accounts of the ceremony. who performed the

In the instance of same sex marriage, a claimant for benefits cannot meet the gender-based definition of spouse required of the federal law. So for all purposes regarding Social Security claims an individual that does not meet the definition of a spouse is ineligible for benefits even though they married in a state that recognizes same sex marriages. There are also regulations and case law which indicate how to provide proof of common law marriage. There are not many situations that have not been at issue with Social Security. If you are having problems proving your case, consult with legal counsel experienced in handling social security cases. You can appeal any decision social security makes on your claim for benefits. Experienced estate planning attorneys Fayetteville AR of the Deborah Sexton Law Office PA offers estate planning and business planning resources to residents of Fayetteville AR. To learn more about these free resources, please visit http://www.arkansas-estateplanning.com today.

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