Can I Collect Any Of The Funds From My Wife's Earnings?

Jun 18 2020 - 8:30am

Hi Larry, Iost my wife of 33 years when i was 52 she was 49. I started collecting DIsability 18 months after her passing.
Can i collect any of the funds from my wife's earnings?

Hi Barry,

I'm sorry for your loss.

The only way that you could collect anything based on the Social Security taxes that your wife paid is if you qualify for widower's benefits on her account. And, if you're already drawing Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits, the only way you'd qualify for widower's benefits if your wife's primary insurance amount (PIA) is higher than your PIA. A person's PIA is equal to their Social Security retirement benefit rate if they start drawing at full retirement age (FRA), or their full Social Security disability (SSDI) benefit rate.

If you do qualify for widower's benefits in addition to your SSDI benefits, you would almost certainly want to apply for the widower's benefits as soon as possible. If you start collecting widow(er) benefits while you're already drawing SSDI benefits, any reduction for age that applies to the widow(er)'s rate would be removed when you reach FRA.

Best, Jerry