Am I Eligible For Benefits On My Deceased Husband's Record?

Apr 16 2017 - 6:30am

My husband died in 1993. I received survivors benefits for myself and 2 children under age 18. Six years after his death I remarried. The marriage only lasted 4 years. I was told by soc sec that I could no get my benfits back. Question #1 is this true, because have read a few things saying otherwise. Question #2 I am now 61 and want start receiving soc sec benefits, can I collect on my deceased husbands Soc sec? Thank you

Hi,

You would only qualify for child in care mother's benefits if you still have an eligible child in your care who is under age 16 or disabled. But even without having a child in care, it sounds like you could be eligible for reduced widow's benefits. There is an earnings test that could limit your ability to receive benefits prior to full retirement age if you are working, though (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

Assuming that you are also insured for benefits on your own record, your best filing strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for mother's benefits or reduced widow's benefits now or as soon as your earnings will permit payment of benefits, then switch to retirement benefits on your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits at age 62 or as soon as your earnings will permit payment of benefits, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at full retirement age.

The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which strategy is best in your case, and when you should apply for each type of benefit.

Best, Jerry