On January 3rd I contacted the office of Retirement Services. they too were frustrating in the fact that everything took a long time.
I first talked to the woman about the fact that I was still teaching and so my retirement is not affected. She told me to log into my account and check to make sure that my beneficiaries and dependents were listed as the boys. She said as of right now it would default to them anyway but that I was welcome to go and change it if I needed to.
As far as Steve was concerned, they would need me to either fax or mail a copy of the death certificate which I did. They will then review the file. Once it was reviewed they would send me a letter and include an application if the benefits could be provided now.
I called again on February 20th to see what the holdup was. They told me they had received the paperwork. And what the gross amount would be and that they were still processing my file.
I again called on March 22nd to find out the status. I did receive a letter explaining the situation and was back paid for January, February and March.
Because of how long he taught and the fact that he didn't quit, he was eligible for his retirement. I was listed as the beneficiary and so I receive one check each month.