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Wife can't get Social Security from first marriage

From 1948 until 1968 I was married to my first husband. Then about four weeks after our divorce we were remarried. That lasted two years. In 1975 at age 46 I married the man to whom I am married now. Confusing, isn't it? I'm so sorry.

My question is this: in January, 1991 when I turn 62 (the good Lord willing), will I be able to draw Social Security on my first husband's work record?

A.

V.

Response: We're sorry, too. The answer is no.

You were married to your first husband the required 10 years before divorcing him, so ordinarily you would be eligible for wife's benefits on his Social Security work record. The problem is, you remarried before age 60 and your current marriage is intact. Therefore, no benefits.

We are told that, should you become divorced or widowed, you would then be entitled to collect wife's benefits on any ex-spouse of ten year's standing, choosing the one whose work record provided you with the highest benefits.

And by the way, Social Security will not pay death benefits on someone for whose demise you are responsible. Believe it or not, it's been tried!

Vision Cable account is all straightened out

Last month Vision Cable sent out a coupon advertising Cinemax and HBO for 99 cents. We called and had Cinemax added.

The serviceman came out and made the change, I signed the work order, and he said they would bill me. But they paid no attention to the coupon and billed me for full service.

Now if they send out that kind of come-on, shouldn't they be required to follow through? I can't get any satisfaction out of them at all.

William D. Robertson

Response: Vision Cable apologizes for the error in billing and has credited your account.

President's campaign trips paid by party funds

Who pays the expenses for the use of Air Force One when the president uses it for political purposes, such as his trips to support Gov. Martinez?

Richard K. Cyphers

Response: We are told that the expenses for these trips come out of political coffers, not taxpayer pockets.

The tab for Bush's recent four-hour visit to Tallahassee, for example, was shared by the state Republican party and U.S. Rep. Bill Grant's campaign chest. It included the cost of a cargo plane which transported three identical presidential limousines _ two of them used as decoys in case of an attempt on Bush's life.

But with party faithfuls paying $100 a ticket for a presidential barbecue, $1,000 to get their pictures taken with Bush and $10,000 a couple to attend a posh dinner in his honor, you needn't fear for the solvency of the Grand Old Party.

Medicare knows patient doesn't have an HMO

I am having trouble with Medicare. For the past three months they have not paid my claims, saying they will turn them over to my HMO.

I do not have an HMO! I disenrolled on Jan. 11, 1989. I have sent copies of my disenrollment to Medicare three times, telephoned them three times, sent copies to Humana and phoned them in Miami, sent information to Largo Med Center and the Diagnostic clinic, but still I get bills sent back to me saying Medicare will charge my HMO.

I hope you can help, because I don't know what to do next.

Muriel Thyben

Response: Humana says they have straightened out your enrollment status with Medicare. Let us know if you have further problems.

Reaction

I sure hope you print my letter, which is in reference to the Crossland Bank error letter in your column of Oct. 19.

Dear Judy,

First of all, if the mistake had been in the bank's favor, the man would never have heard about it. Second, don't you think there's a chance that some loan officer closed the loan at that figure just to make a deal?

And third, if you don't agree with me, well, you look like a very nice person and perhaps you are right after all _ and I can give you a great deal on a 1979 Pinto.

John Ruddy

Action has taken a good deal of heat on this one, but we stand by our answer. While the man may have a legal remedy, we still believe that morally he owes the money.

If you have a question for Action, or your own attempts to resolve a consumer complaint have failed, write: Times Action, c/o the City Times, P.O. Box 1121, St. Petersburg 33731, or call your Action number, 893-8171, to leave a recorded request for Action.

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