Some of you may know I have been married more than once. And some of you may know that one of those men I married took his own life. That was way back in 1992. It was a horrific situation to be a widow at the age of 34 after less than 2 years of marriage. But life carries on, and many things have transpired in my sphere of existence since then.
Imagine my surprise when, in mid January, I received a letter from the federal government telling me that I could now apply for the Canada Pension Plan survivor's pension benefit. They changed the rules. Way back in '92, you had to be age 35, or have kids, to be eligible to apply for it. Neither of those conditions applied to me, so my application had been denied.
So now, I had the forms to reapply. But I needed some information that I no longer possessed. Like his social insurance number and actual birthdate. I knew his birthday was in November of the same year as mine, but couldn't remember the exact date. And I had no idea what his SIN was. So I went online to the government's website and found out I could actually request this info for the whopping fee of $5! I received the requested information earlier this week.
Today, I went to the Service Canada office to get photocopies of our marriage certificate and his death certificate certified as true copies (they do it for free). The lovely agent who looked after me checked on her computer to find a time line for processing my application (~6 weeks) and then saved me the postage by taking the application and saying she would submit it through their direct channels.
I am quite certain that less than 2 years of marriage will results in about 10 cents a month, but hey... you never know!