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  1. #1
    davidfraser is offline Junior Member
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    social security spousal death benefits for non citizen spouse

    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    California
    I was married for 35 years and my wife died. She was collecting SS benefits at the time. I have never paid into the system, only her, and I although born in New York, have no way of proving that I am an American Citizen. I need to know what steps I need to go through to get surviving spouse benefits. So far I have been denied any benefits from the SSA.
  2. #2
    Onderzoek is offline Member
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    Quote Originally Posted by davidfraser View Post
    What is the name of your state (only U.S. law)?
    California
    I was married for 35 years and my wife died. She was collecting SS benefits at the time. I have never paid into the system, only her, and I although born in New York, have no way of proving that I am an American Citizen. I need to know what steps I need to go through to get surviving spouse benefits. So far I have been denied any benefits from the SSA.
    Why can't you prove you were born in New York? How old do you think you are and what do you base that on?

    If you have proof that there is no birth certificate, then SSA will want secondary evidence. What does the original Social Security card application say? A microprint of that document can be requested. Did you go to school in New York? Were you listed on a census record in 1950? Did you get baptized or have another religious record of your birth? Where did you get married? What is listed on your marriage certficate as your place of birth? What is listed on your children's birth certificates as their father's place of birth? Have you ever voted in the United States? Do you have your brothers and sisters birth certificates? Where were they born? Where were your parents born? What documents are available to be reviewed? Who is your oldest relative and what evidence (in addition to their memory) can they supply?

    Get as many old documents as you can. Hopefully they will all agree that you were born in New York. If they don't have the New York place of birth, maybe you weren't born in New York and you have been an illegal immigrant for the last 50, 60 years.

    You don't say how old you are, but your US citizenship needs to be resolved now or as soon as possible. SSA is not going to change their mind about denying your claim without evidence. You don't want to be 80 years old and not able to get benefits. Maybe you should talk to an immigration lawyer. Maybe you need to get a Superior Court judge to issue a delayed birth certificate.

    Get as many documents as possible. Get proof that there is no birth certificate. Get busy.
  3. #3
    candg918 is offline Member
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    You do not have to be a US citizen to claim SS benefits.

    You must have worked sometime in your life. Why have you never paid into SS? Did you pay into another retirement program with documents that might help establish your status? What did you use to prove your eligibility to work? How can you prove that you are legally in the US?

    Check with the person that has such items as the family religious and historical records; they may have some documents to assist in your research.
  4. #4
    Onderzoek is offline Member
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    746
    Quote Originally Posted by candg918 View Post
    You do not have to be a US citizen to claim SS benefits.

    You must have worked sometime in your life. Why have you never paid into SS? Did you pay into another retirement program with documents that might help establish your status? What did you use to prove your eligibility to work? How can you prove that you are legally in the US?

    Check with the person that has such items as the family religious and historical records; they may have some documents to assist in your research.
    He claims to be born in New York which would make him a US citizen. If he is not a US citizen, he is either a lawful immigrant or an illegal alien. And he needs to be either a lawful immigrant (with proof from INS or Homeland Security) or a US citizen to get benefits.

    Even if he were born at home in New York and no one recorded his birth with the local registrar, during his lifetime, there should be some documents that were created that provide ID information. I am curious about why there was no birth certificate and why he has waited this long to try to prove he is a US citizen. However, continuing to wait and put this off will not make it any easier.

    He may have only worked for cash his whole life. Lots of illegal immigrants have done that.

    If he were not born in the US and cannot prove that his parents were US citizens at the time of his birth, it may mean he is not a US citizen and he should have gotten lawfully admitted permanent resident status with INS. There have been multiple amnesties over the decades. He may be an illegal immigrant who has lived in the US for decades.

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