Survivor Benefits Eligibility?

How far back can you go back to get spousal survivor benefits? I was getting Social Security at the time of my wife's death in 2004. If so, how many checks is to be received?

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By Frank D from Memphis, TN

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November 25, 20140 found this helpful

For heavens sake! Call your local Social Security Office and talk to them about this.

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November 27, 20140 found this helpful

Please - for correct answers - go to your SS office and ask your questions.

I do not believe you can ever draw more than one benefit check so you have probably not missed out on any checks.
If anyone is eligible for more than one benefit then they would have to choose which one to receive (one may be more money than another).

Also, benefits are not paid for "arrears/past" in a case like this as the benefit period can only begin at the time of filing. Then - if/when case is approved - the SS would pay benefits from the date of filing. That is the reason you sometimes hear of someone receiving a large check for "back payment" from SS as it may take several months or even years for a final decision to be made.

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