Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Taking Care of (Old) Business

I’ve been busy taking care of old business.

In 1974 when I divorced my husband, I asked to have my maiden name restored to me as my legal name. I changed my name everywhere: driver’s license, work, post office, passport. But I postponed changing my name with the Social Security Administration. At the time I was working in our family business and as I continued to work there until I retired in 2007, I didn’t need a accurate Social Security card.

With 65 coming up quickly, I decided that I’d better get around to changing my name. I don’t think Medicare will work with the wrong name on my card. I glibly flew into the Social Security office with driver’s license, tax forms, W-2s, passport. These were not good enough for Social Security. It seems I needed my divorce decree. Now some people are great with paper. Me not so much. In the intervening 38 years since my divorce I’ve moved six times and managed to lose those precious papers.

So I called the county offices in California where I was divorced and found out what I needed to do. Sent the blank check (open ended for fees) and a letter asking for a certified copy of my divorce. This came promptly, thank you very much.

Unfortunately, this was just one page saying the the interlocutory judgment given six months earlier was now in effect. There was nothing on the official divorce decree about my name change. So I sent off another letter and another blank check asking for a certified copy of the the interlocutory judgment. This came yesterday.

So I trudged off today to the Social Security office, patiently waited my turn, (amazingly I had less than a five minute wait) and finally, 38 years later, I have an accurate Social Security card.

Next stop... Medicare. Kate

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