Am I Entitled To My Late Husband's Social Security?

Category: 
Apr 6 2017 - 6:00am

Hi, I was married 25 years when my husband unexpectedly passed. I was a stay at home momma raising 3 children. My SS will be very little at the time I'm able to collect it. My question am I entiteled to my late husbands SS? What about if I were to marry again one day, then would I be entitled ?
Thank you for your help
Missy

Hi Missy,

I'm sorry for your loss.

You could become eligible for widow's benefits as early as age 60, or even at age 50 if you're disabled. Unless you're disabled, your best filing strategy is likely one of the following:

1) File for retirement benefits on your own record at age 62, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at your full retirement age; or,
2) File for reduced widow's benefits at age 60, then switch to your own record at age 70.

You would likely want to start out drawing the lower of the two benefits first, and save the highest possible rate for last. The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which strategy is best.

If you remarry before age 60, or before becoming entitled to disabled widow's benefits if before age 60, you would not qualify for widow's benefits on your deceased husband's record for as long as you remain remarried. However, a remarriage after age 60 or after entitlement to disabled widow's benefits would not bar or terminate entitlement to widow's benefits.

Best, Jerry