Can I Collect My Deceased Husband's Social Security?

Category: 
Feb 24 2018 - 9:49am

Hello Larry,
My husband passed away at age 40. I will be 62 in a few days and I am still working. Can I collect his social security? If so, will my paycheck be affected?
Thank you for all you do!

Hi,

Your paycheck won't be affected if you file for Social Security benefits, but if file for benefits and you earn more than $17,040 this year then Social Security would need to withhold $1 of your benefits for each $2 that your earnings exceed $17,040. That could result in the withholding of all of your benefits or only a portion of them depending on how much you earn and your benefit rate.

In all likelihood, your best strategy is one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits now or as soon as your earnings will permit at least some 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 at least some benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at your full retirement age.

Generally, you would want to start out drawing the lower benefit first and then switch to the higher record when it reaches it's highest potential rate. The maximization software available on this website can sort this all out for you and help you determine your best overall filing strategy.

Best, Jerry