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Answers are provided by Robert S. Kaufman
Benefits Can Be Paid to More Than One "Widow"
(Posted November 22, 2002)
Question 201: I recently married a railroad worker with 32 years of service. He had been married for over 30 years until his divorce last year. How is the survivor benefit split among the two of us in the event of his death?
Answer: I have good news! Each of you can qualify for seperate survivor's benefits.
As his wife at the time of his death, you will be eligible for a full widow's benefit: both Tier 1 and Tier 2. This assumes you will have been married for at least nine months at the time of his death.
The former wife qualifies for a smaller benefit, as a former wife who is now divorced. Her amount would be limited to what Social Security who have paid if your husband's rail work had been covered by Social Security. To qualify, she will have to be unmarried when she reaches 60.
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