Can I Receive Benefits On My Wife's Record At Age 60?

Dec 4 2016 - 10:45am

My wife passed away in April of 2010. She was on SSD, and was 53. I will be 60 and continue to work until my retirement. Am I able to collect any Social Security under her benefits? I know I am unable to collect under her SSD, but was wondering if I can collect her Social Security.

Thank you,
Joe

Hi Joe,

I'm sorry for your loss.

It sounds like you would be eligible for reduced widower's benefits as early as age 60, but there is an earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html) that may prevent you from receiving any benefits until you reach full retirement age.

Depending on your own benefit rate and your potential widower benefit rate, your best option is likely to file for the lower benefit first, and save the higher benefit for last. So, you'll want to determine which benefit to file for first, as well as the optimal time to file for each benefit. You may wish to consider running the maximization software available on this website in order to help you with your decision. It is programmed to handle the effects of the earnings test, as well as the formulas used for computing the benefit rates needed to determine your best filing options.

Best, Jerry