Hello, this is my first post so please be kind. I'm asking for a friend, this is not for me, but she is a very dear and close family friend. I will refer to her as Yvette, she is a 63 year old hispanic female. I will try to keep this as short as possible.
Yvette's husband died last year. Her husband was a naturalized US citizen. Yvette is not a citizen or resident, but she does have work permit (granted recently) and a social security number. Her SSN was granted several years ago. She was also granted a work permit at that time, but it expired a year after being issued. Yvette's new work permit was granted a little over month ago.
Yvette is trying to claim widower's benefits from the SS department because when her husband retired, the SS agent told them that Yvette could be written down as the heir to his benefits when he passed away. On a quick note, Yvette's husband died from liver cancer which is why he inquired about her being heir to the benefits, he was 64 years old. They filled out a form and that was that. At that time, Yvette did not have a valid work permit, the one she had expired years go. So the SS agent told Yvette that she would need to show documentation of legal presence in the country when her husband passed away and she was ready to claim the benefits.
The problem now is that Yvette met with a very aggressive and unfriendly SS agent. I was there as her interpreter (Spanish speaking friends/relatives, lived in Argentina for 12 years), but for some reason the SS agent insisted that Yvette use an office interpreter over the phone. I stayed in my seat and heard everything. This agent told Yvette that her application for widow's benefits would most likely be accepted... BUT, the retroactive benefits would only apply to months where she can prove legal presence in the country.
The part about proof of legal presence makes sense to me, but MY personal problem is that the SS agent told her this, verbatim; "Make sure nobody else sees to your case! I'm the only one that can handle it. So when you come back, bring the documents to me, and only me." Why would she say that? That just felt wrong. The SS agent's behavior was off, like she was upset or angry. After the meet, I asked Yvette if the interpreter had done a good job. Yvette said that the interpreter sounded a someone who barely spoke Spanish but that the rough interpretation was good enough for her to get the general idea of the conversation.
So the question(s) is(are): Is the SS Agent being a *bad word* and giving Yvette a hard time? Yvette is in need of those retroactive payouts. Is there no hope for her to get the maximum six months of retroactive payouts?
Thanks for any help guys.
Ps. I just realized that I didn't specify what "documents" the SS Agent wanted. She wants a letter for the DHS stating that Yvette had "legal presence" status going back 6 months.