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I'm new here and have alot of questions. One of my biggest is, because I'm in I'll health, but wasn't old enough when my husband passed, did I lose any chance of getting even just a part of his social security when I turn 50? 

Because I was in bad health when he retired I stupidly signed away my right to his retirement pay. We figured I would go first therefore there was no point in paying for sgli for me. Now, we've lost everything and I have to live with my dad who is not in good health would sure be nice to know that after working for my whole life, my husband's sacrifices for his whole life I might stand a chance for a little help.

I'm sure I know the answer is too bad so sad, but I figured you guys might know if maybe there is some hope for me. Thanks in advance for any help you might be able to give. And thank you to all of our active duty, retired and other military members and their loved ones, passed and surviving. 

Sincerely Crazy Monica

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Replies to This Discussion

Hi Monica,

I'm sorry for your loss.  Susan and I looked at the same situation when I retired from the Navy.  Because we needed the money from my retirement, as we were a family of five, and I was returning to school, we/she decided that we would not sign up for SGLI.  As it turned out she passed first.  

As far as the navy is concerned, as you said, you signed away your rights to his retirement pay.  That being said, you might want to make an appointment with a navy counselor. Things and times change, if you go into a base and talk with someone who handles and advises retirements, you might be surprised.  You do not need to go into a Navy base (I know there is not one in Denver or the Springs) I'd pick an Air Force Base and visit them.  

As far as Social Security is concerned, you can call but I would advise, again, going into a SS Office near you.  There are offices scattered about in the Denver area and at least one in the Springs.  Bring a book, and an unopened bottle of something to drink, and take a number.  Looking into someones face and eyes and seeing facial expressions yields better results than someone's unconcerned voice over the phone.  When Susan passed I could have had her retirement, but it was a moot point as mine was larger.  It should be an easy choice in your case.  

You mention that you are in Ill health.  You could be receiving SSDI  (Disability Income).  There are several hoops to jump through, so many that there actually are lawyers that specialize in just that... Getting SSDI for their clients.  Along with ESRD (End Stage Renal Disease) and two kidney transplants, Susan had 5 spine surgeries and was "let go" from her job as they considered her a risk. As a team, we lived on and managed a Public Storage facility. They determined that if she opened door and re-injured herself that she would be a huge insurance risk and let her go with 16 years on the job with a phone call.  She got an attorney, they filled out the papers, and submitted them.  She was denied, and crushed, but her attorney told her that virtually NO ONE who submits a claim is approved the first time around.  They resubmitted the paperwork and she was immediately approved.   The attorneys do not work for free, instead they defer payment until the case is successfully resolved and then they can get up to a third of your first check.  When the paperwork is first submitted ( when you are proved qualified for SSDI) that date  is etched in concrete, and even if it takes a year, the first check is retroactive to the date of qualification, so it is really big, and missing a third still leaves you 2/3 of the amount.  Check with an attorney who specializes in SSDI applications, and who defers payment until the case is won.  They are specialists in the law and their first interview is free. If they take your case, then their fees are deferred.  Call the attorney and they will tell you want paperwork you need to bring with you, or if you have non at that time, they will tell you what you need,or you can sign papers and they will get it for you. 

Lastly, You have "DENVER" prominently displayed on your thumbnail.  Do you know about the "Heart Light Center" on the outskirts of Denver?  Look it up on the internet and check into it.  This is where I go for a Grief Group. Their group meetings are twice a month, on the second and fourth Wednesdays of each month. We meet at 7pm and they are over around 9.  Once a month the group meets for dinner out or a pot luck in facility, where we can get together and get to know one another.  They have an active group and the women have collected names and email addresses so they can keep intouch with each other.  They have also got a list of folks, men and women all members, who can help out around the house if something breaks or simply needs cleaning done.

I live outside of Como, CO at 10,000' elevation inside the Colorado Rockies in south Park County.  It is a 120 mile trip, one way, for me to attend the meetings, but they have been lifesavers.  When Susan passed, it took me 3 months before the weather would allow me to get over the pass and into town without worrying about it closing behind me.  I called them and talked with Jennifer several times during the time that I could not get down.  I learned of WV from them and as you can see, also joined it.  Between the two, I've been able to survive and actually begin to improve.

(((HUGS))) Monica



Thank you for your advice Frank. We were USAF so going to Peterson here will be my next visit. I'm from Colorado Springs area, just a big Broncos fan. When my husband died in 2010, we lived in southern new mexico and though they tried to help, there was nothing much in the way of help,tgere. I think my best bet is going to be to talk to an attorney as well, because when he retired, he was given a 0 percent disability rating which is from what I hear is virtually unheard of. He had a variety of health problems himself, which were very evident for several years before he retired. At the time, they were doing the cycle ergo me try testing for fitness and my husband never managed to be able to even try the test because his heart rate was so high. This went untreated as did some other issues he was already beginning to show. He died of a heart attack two days before Christmas in 2010, six months after being told his heart was in great shape. I suspect this will be a very long road, but I'm hoping that when it comes time for my father to leave me, perhaps there will be a solution for us. 

Between the issues with his own medical care, a military doctor botched a surgery on me which is now having a direct effect on my health beyond the Parkinson's Disease and spine deterioration which is now making it virtually impossible to get hired at any of the jobs I once did and would qualify for. I just feel like after all the years I was left alone to raise my kids in not great health and the fact that while he was not killed in the line of fire, his mental health and physical health were sacrificed for this country and the treatment I and family received after his death were and continue to be abominable. They did not even pay for his funeral because he was cremated. They took so long to give our kids the backpay they got while still in school left our home in even worse shape than it normallybwas, and when they auctioned it off, we were not notified for six months. It was when they showed up at the door with paperwork giving us 30 days to vacate a home we'd lived in for 23 years that we found out it was done and over and sold. 

I'm sorry to complain, as it seems like you went thru much the same as we and I know there are many others. I just feel as if it was not bad enough that they turned a truly good man into a vicious alcoholic which has even tainted my memories of him because the alcohol left him unable to control his temper which led to physical and mental abuse. I miss him so much, but the PTSD is so bad, five years later, if someone on television or a movie, as part of the story, screams at a woman or beats her, I immediatelyy go into fight or flight mode, terror stricken.

And he was a GOOD man. I miss that part of him. It's getting better. I can speak of him and remember more good things than bad. My kids and I can tell the funny stories and laugh. I can listen to Pink Floyd without feeling as if I've been gut checked. So please don't think I'm a weepy Wilma who uses his death as an excuse to not work, not fight to get what I can of a life rebuilt. I just kinda get vapor locked and wind up opting for doing nothing on the benefits front because for the first two years after he passed, every answer I got was no.picking up that fight again just terrifies me, exhausts me and makes me want to throw up.

Finding someone else who made the same mistake I did helps to no end. Because quite often, when folks hear i signed the sgli retirement away, they shut down and I can see it in their could you be so stupid, so shortsighted. You got what you deserved, dummy. What an idiot, and that's all she wrote. They hear nothing else.

Thank you again. I will most definitely take your advice and let you know what they say.and hugs to you as well. I'm so sorry you had to lose your sound like a compassionate person and that's not always common anymore.


Crazy Monica

Monica, great advice from Frank!  I too signed away my military spousal benefits - thought I was making good money and would not need it!  Alas, was let go of job and could not get another good paying one (age discrimination) - and 6 years later my husband became terminally ill - and the savings just melted.  So here I am, almost 75, and scrounging for extra income to make ends meet. So far my health good, except for arthritis, and that is a blessing, as are my children and grandchildren.



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