Can I Get Widow's Benefits At Age 65 If I'm Working?

Mar 30 2017 - 8:45am

I will be 65 in July and am wondering if I can apply for widow's benefits from my late husband's SS. I plan on continuing to work, but are having a difficult time in making ends meet. My husband passed in December 2005 and would be 70 years old. I make approximately $40,000 per year.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Your earnings may be too high for you to receive benefits this year due to Social Security's earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html). However, if your benefit rate is high enough, you may be due at least some benefits this year if you apply now.

Your best filing strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits either now or in January 2018, then file for your own retirement benefits at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits either now or in January 2018, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at age 66.

The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which of the above strategies is best, as well as the best time to apply for each type of benefit.

Best, Jerry