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Backpay for claim previously denied

My husband and I were common law married in 1982, which was legally recognized in both OK and GA were we lived at the time. When he passed away in 2008, I applied for death benefits and was told that since both states no longer recognized common law marriages that I would be denied benefits unless I could "prove" that we were married. His relatives sent in statements attesting to that fact, and also I had a paper that he signed listing me as his wife. They said that those documents were not "proof". When I applied for my own benefits last month, they stated that I WAS qualified to receive benefits and I received a check this month. My question is, can I applied for back pay based on the fact they denied me the first time?

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It's not clear how old you were at the time of initial denial. If you were under age 62 and eligible for survivor benefits, then I would say it's worth looking into filing a claim for backpay.

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Not affiliated with the US Social Security Administration