Dear Larry (and Jerry, Mike, John, Alex and Issac),
I have a question about widow's benefits. My spouse was on disability when she died. Their Social Security Disability benefit was approximately $930.00 per month, and they died in 2015 at the age of 51. I know that I can claim widow's benefits as early as age 60 (which will be in seven and half years). My questions are as follows:
What amount would I receive as a widow when I am 60?
Does claiming the widow's benefit affect the amount or timing of my Social Security benefit?
I have not remarried.
I'm sorry for your loss.
If you take widow(er)'s benefits at age 60, you can expect to receive 71.5% of your spouse's PIA (primary insurance amount). Her PIA would likely be her disability benefit rate augmented by all Social Security cost of living increases occurring after her death. There is also an alternate method of calculating widow(er)'s benefits that could result in a somewhat higher benefit rate for you.
You are not required to file for benefits on your own record when you apply for widow(er)'s benefits. So, assuming that your own retirement rate is higher, you can file for widow(er)'s benefits at age 60 and let your own benefit rate grow until age 70.