Stop That Social Security?

James and his wife filed paperwork with Social Security to change his wife’s name, but she’s still receiving a widow’s benefit from Social Security even after their marriage.

QUESTION: James in Tulsa and his wife filed paperwork with Social Security to change his wife’s name, but she’s still receiving a widow’s benefit from Social Security even after their marriage. James thought it would stop, but it hasn’t. Dave tells James they’ve got to get this stopped immediately if she isn’t entitled to it.

ANSWER: If the widow’s benefit is supposed to stop when she gets married, then you need to get in the middle of somebody’s desk in the Social Security administration and get them to stop this, because those bozos are going to look up one day and want you to repay that. Get it fixed, because the longer it goes, the bigger the mess is.

If she is allowed to have this money, get that clarified and get that in writing. The big thing here is to be proactive and not just accept the government’s incompetence, because they will show up five years later wanting the money. They’ll wake up and act like you did something wrong. Get some things moving here.