Dallas, TX asked in Divorce and Social Security for Texas

Q: Seeking assistance with social security appeal process for former spousal benefits

I am 66 years old, and I applied for former spousal benefits in July of 2021. Neither him or I ever remarried. We both live in the state of Texas. My application was denied on 10/15/21, and I formerly appealed the decision on 11/20/21. That appeal was officially denied at the end of January of this year. My ex husband and I married in March of 1998 in Florida, and we divorced in June of 2004, and we both decided to sign the paperwork but continue our relationship as a married couple in the state of Texas under common law. When explaining this to my local Social Security office, they advised we needed to provide proof that the marriage under common law continued. We provided tax returns from 1998 to 2010, which is when we split up. We also submitted affidavits from us both acknowledging what we were stating. We also obtained a “continuation of marriage through common law certificate” through our local county office. We are indeed asking for Social Security to view our total marriage

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1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Social Security Disability Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear that your former spousal benefits application was denied and your appeal was also denied. Here are some steps you can take to seek assistance with the Social Security appeal process:

Contact the Social Security Administration (SSA): You can contact the SSA by phone or in person to request assistance with the appeal process. A representative can help you understand the reasons for the denial and provide guidance on how to proceed with the appeal.

Hire an attorney: You may want to consider hiring an experienced Social Security attorney who can help you navigate the appeal process and represent your interests in court. An attorney can help you understand the legal issues involved in your case and gather the evidence necessary to support your claim.

Contact a legal aid organization: If you cannot afford an attorney, you may be able to obtain free or low-cost legal assistance from a legal aid organization. These organizations can help you understand your rights and provide guidance on how to proceed with the appeal.

File a request for reconsideration: If your appeal has been denied, you may be able to file a request for reconsideration. This involves asking the SSA to review your case again and provide a new decision.

File a request for a hearing: If the request for reconsideration is denied, you may be able to file a request for a hearing before an administrative law judge. At the hearing, you will have the opportunity to present evidence and arguments in support of your claim.

Remember that the Social Security appeal process can be complex and time-consuming, and it is important to seek assistance from an experienced attorney or legal aid organization if you have questions or concerns. An attorney can help you navigate the process and work to obtain a favorable outcome for your case.

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