Columns/Opinions

JC Bunkhouse

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The dayworker cowboy: a cowboy that goes from ranch to ranch doing work for a day or two, but it could be longer. These cowboys will come and stay on until the roundup and the workin’ is done. Then, he will move on to the next ranch. The dayworker is often single without much holdin’ him to any specific place.

Ask Rusty - Can My Mother Get Benefits from Common Law Marriage?

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Dear Rusty: My 71-year-old mother has a very small Social Security income. It is not enough to find her housing. I am working to file for increased VA benefits, as she is a veteran. Her partner of 21 years (common law spouse) has passed away, and we have an appointment next week to apply for spousal benefits. First question: We have the option of applying for her partner’s SS benefits, and we are completing the form SSA-753 statement regarding marriage. Is there anything else I should have to be prepared for the appointment? Second question: My mother and father were married for 27 years before they divorced. I was going to request filing for his benefits as it is easier to prove than a common law relationship. Is there anything else you could recommend being prepared for the appointment? Signed: Concerned Daughter

Working to Support Our Common Defense

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Last week, Congress made significant progress on critical legislation that supports our common defense and ensures protection of U.S. interests around the world. While much work remains in the days and weeks ahead, I am proud that lawmakers in both chambers are one step closer to completing the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for the sixtieth year in a row.

Social Security Matters

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Ask Rusty – Can I Get a Widow’s Benefit if I’m on Disability? Dear Rusty: I was recently approved for my Social Security disability benefits. Will I still be able to get my widow’s benefits when I turn 60, which is right around the corner? Or do I lose those because I am disabled? Signed: An Uncertain Widow Dear Uncertain Widow: You will not lose your survivor (widow’s) benefits because you are now collecting Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits.

Capitol Considerations

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July 21, 2020 This week, I thought I’d go over the education-related laws that went into effect July 1st. Schools will be starting in the next month.

Social Security Matters

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Dear Rusty: In 2019 I was out of work for an extended period. I was eligible to begin receiving retirement benefits (at age 63) and started to do so in August. My part time job was limited so it did not conflict with my Social Security amount, but in October through the end of 2019 I went back to my old industry at four times the pay rate. My understanding is that I will need to pay Social Security back about $1.40 for every benefit dollar they have paid me while I worked at the higher wage. When and how is that paid? Signed: Part Time Again

Need Help Making a Decision?

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I have had numerous conversations with people that have wanted to know “God’s will” in a particular situation. They wanted to know what God wanted them to do in a specific situation as if they were afraid that a wrong decision or wrong direction would cause them to be placed outside of God’s protection and provision. Some people I have encountered in this situation have been so paralyzed by their fear of making the wrong decisions, they simply chose to do nothing rather than do something wrong. The questions raised by this attitude are many, but the motives are pure, if not a little misguided.

Looking Back

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The Walters Herald Aug. 1, 1935 Last week, while playing in the yard, Peggy Jo Sorrow, small daughter of Mr.