Q. I retired at the age of 55. I had worked for the state of New York for 30 years doing clerical work in a college library. I drew my small state pension until I was 62 years of age and I then started drawing Social Security benefits based on my Social Security record. While I worked at the state library, I had no Social Security taxes removed from my salary. When I retired, I was told that when my husband passed away, I would receive his full Social Security. I’ve lost my husband but am not allowed to have any of his Social Security because of the double dipping law. I know they are trying to do better things to the Social Security law. Has anything at all been done that would enable me to get my husband’s full Social Security? It would certainly help me immensely.
A. Your right to a Social Security widow benefit is affected by a provision of Social Security law known as the Government Pension Offset. This provision was enacted in 1977 and, for most women became effective in December 1982. To learn more about the provision, go online to http://www.socialsecurity.gov/pubs/10007.html .
Legislation to repeal or reduce the offset has been introduced in every Congress since the law took effect. Thus far, the legislation has not been favorably considered.