Can I Receive A Lump Sum Of My Deceased Wife's Social Security Contributions?

Dec 26 2016 - 10:45am

My wife died in 2011. Am I eligible to receive any additional benefits. I am 64 years old. She would have been 65. I am receiving 1,076. A month in my own benefits. Can I receive the money she paid into Social Security. As a lump sum?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

There is no option to receive a refund of Social Security taxes paid by yourself or anyone else. Unlike a 401k plan, for example, Social Security taxes do not go into a person's individual fund. Instead, they go into a pooled trust fund, which is in turn used to pay benefits to people who meet the requirements for entitlement.

It's possible that you could be eligible for monthly widower's benefits on your wife's Social Security record, but only if her full benefit rate would have been higher than the amount that you're drawing on your own account. If that's the case, you would likely be best off to wait until age 66 to apply for an unreduced widower's benefit.

Best, Jerry