My husband died Active Duty when he was 31and I was 25 at the time. I'am 63 now I have been receiving VA for widows. Have worked all these years. How would taking my SS retirement benefit for myself work, aren't I entitled to my own retirement money.
I'm sorry for your loss.
Yes, if you've worked long enough to be insured for Social Security benefits then you should be eligible. I'm not an expert on VA benefits, though, so I can't tell you whether or not drawing Social Security would affect your VA widow's benefits.
It sounds like you may also qualify for Social Security widow's benefits. If so, your best filing strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits now or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits on your own record now or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at full retirement age.
Our maximization software can help you determine which of the above filing strategies is best in your case, as well as when to apply for each type of benefit.