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Social Security benefits and common law marriage

If two peeple live together for many years and think of themselves as married isn't that a common law marriage and so would the social security administration consider them married for survivors or spouse's benefits? Thanks

 
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Editor's Response

The Social Security Administration does allow such benefits for spouses who are or where in a recognizable common common law marriage.  However, when determining whether a valid common law marriage existed or exists, the Social Security Administration applies the law of the sate where the person receiving the benefits lived at the time he or she died or of the state where the worker is living when the 'spouse' applies for benefits.  Massachusetts does not recognize common law marriage

However, if you lived in another state prior to moving to Massachusetts, and that state recognizes common law marriage, you may have a common law marriage that was created during your time in that other state.   If you are in doubt, talk to an attorney who does Social Security work.  Good luck.

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