The Social Security rules and regulations are tough to navigate. They are even tougher to navigate alone as a widow or widower. This blog comes to us from this article in the New York Times that features a closer look at a widow trying to survive on Social Security Income (SSI).

Jo Etta Brown was widowed one year ago at the age of 75. She and her husband, James, had been living on SSI, but it wasn’t until James died that Jo Etta learned of the difficulties of the Social Security rules.

You see, Jo Etta thought she would be able to efficiently handle the income adjustment since she had 30 years of experience in the loan and savings industry alongside volunteering during her retirement at a group that supports Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security. It sounds like a stable background for Jo Etta to take on this income path alone. Unfortunately, Jo Etta experienced a 25% decrease in income when James died. Jo Etta has made appropriate life choices such as cutting back on her travel budget to adjust for these decreased funds, but there are other ways to account for these drastic changes in this difficult industry.

Financial advisors share a bit of advice: it is possible to draw from both your individual SSI as well as survivor benefits when widowed; however, since it is not possible to have both at the same time, to draw from the smaller fund first.

If we know anything about working with disability claims in the U.S. it’s that lawyers help make the process easier to navigate. We can help determine appropriate times to draw from certain funds or when to apply for the different types of disability claims. Call The Martin Law Group today to get started. The New York Times said it perfectly, “Despite the peace of mind its name promises, Social Security can be a source of confusion and stress…” Let us help you attain that peace of mind.