Can I Collect Survivor Benefits For The Remainder Of This Year Even Though I've Already Earned More Than $40K?

Category: 
Sep 10 2019 - 10:37am

I was just terminated from my job in September and I will be eligible to receive unemployment. I am 63 and my husband passed away a year ago. Can I potentially collect survivors benefits the remainder of the year even though I made significantly over $40K the first 8 months of the year. I want to switch to my benefits at age 70 as they will be larger than my husband's. I do not want to jeopardize any future benefits. Thank you.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Yes, you could be paid benefits for any months in which your earnings don't exceed $1,470 regardless of how much you've earned so far this year (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/rule.html). Unemployment benefits don't count as earnings, so that wouldn't prevent you from drawing Social Security benefits. However, drawing Social Security benefits might reduce your unemployment benefits, but I'm not an expert on unemployment benefits so you'd need to check with the agency that administers those payments.

From your description it sounds like your best option would probably be to claim reduced widow's benefits effective with the first month that your earning won't exceed $1470 and then switch to your own higher Social Security retirement benefits at age 70, but you might want to consider using our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) to be sure.

Best, Jerry