Port Vila, Vanuatu (PressExposure) October 02, 2009 -- In 2003, the Californian couple, Ron Bernard, 64 and wife Mary McCurnin, 59, declared bankruptcy after insurance covered only 10% of costs for his intestinal bleeding and her breast cancer. In 2004 her cancer returned and Bernard underwent open heart surgery.
They are forced to file for divorce, if they are to have any chance of growing old together In spite of repeatedly refinancing their home to pay medical bills.
McCurnin is able to access her first husband's Social Security, to whom she was married for 20 years, before he died in 1989, provided she is not married to anyone else. She would be eligible for a $1.200 monthly survivor's benefit in November, when she turns 60.
Bernard and McCurnin are both graphic artists, but think their horrendous credit rating is an enormous obstacle to either of them obtaining a job, in spite of them both being perfectly qualified older workers.
The couple first tried to file for divorce in February, but because of errors in the application, they kept being rejected. They eventually hired a paralegal and expect the divorce to become final in the next few weeks.
Once the widow's benefit has kicked in, McCurnin will not lose it, even if the couple remarrys again.
The McCurnins, like more and more people, are in financial difficulties. Many are joining the Do It Yourself craze that is sweeping the world.
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