Can I Collect Benefits On My Deceased Wife's Record?

Mar 30 2017 - 8:30am

IBM is laying me off on 5/1/2017. I'm 66 will be 67 on 7/1. I can retire from IBM and Lucent Technologies I know that but and also take my Social Security pension. My wife died in 2011 and I'am wondering if and can collect any of my wife's benefits from social security pension as a surviving spouse (she made less than I do/did) ?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Yes, you can file for widower's benefits without also filing for your own Social Security retirement benefits. In fact, you can claim your widower's benefits up to 6 months retroactively, and you'll likely want to contact Social Security immediately in order to avoid a loss of benefits. You can then wait until age 70 to apply for your Social Security retirement benefits, at which time they will be at their highest possible rate. It sounds like this would be your best filing strategy, but you may want to run the maximization software available on this website to be sure.

Best, Jerry