Hi there, I'm only putting this as a discussion because I have seen past inquiries regarding the length of time it took. We originally sent in our application in November of 2013. I'm the daughter, and I was applying for the surviving spousal benefits for my mother I did it all on my own right down to printing out the application off of the internet. Mom had been living with me, and we were originally denied, but I sent in an appeal after my mother moved to assisted living in April. I received the award letter on July 8th, 2014. She received the maximum entitlement amount, and it says her effective date is November 25, 2013..and that she should receive her retroactive check within 15 days. This is so wonderful for mom, and will keep her in a private room a little longer.