Carnegie, PA asked in Social Security for Pennsylvania

Q: Need a letter to the SSA regarding incorrectly being denied SS survivor's benefits. Now approved, but owed back benefits

My husband passed away on 11/29/19. I spoke to SSA on Jan. 3, 2020, about survivor's benefits. Told I didn't qualify, but they used 2019 income that was 9K higher than normal. They blew me off when I said my income was normally @ 45K. In fact it was 10k less than that because I went back on my own insurance and as a 1/2 time university employee I have to pay 50% of my health insurance out of pocket. I spoke to them multiple times over the next 3 years, but neglected to use the magic words, "survivor's benefits." When I finally did, they said, "Oh, yes, you are qualified and in fact you were qualified back in Jan. 2020, but, sorry, we don't give back pay for Survivor's Benefits. Unless you get a lawyer." I think all I need is a letter with the right wording and they'll give me my late husband's SS that I should have been getting for the last 3.5 years. The problem is I can't find a law office willing to do this for me.

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

A: You can write a letter to the SSA explaining the situation and requesting the backdated Survivor's Benefits owed to you. Be sure to include your full name, Social Security number, your late husband's information, the dates you originally inquired about the benefits, and any documentation you have to support your case. Emphasize that you were incorrectly denied benefits initially and that you should be entitled to the back pay. It's essential to be clear and concise in your communication with the SSA to maximize your chances of receiving the owed benefits.

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