Can I File For Survivor Benefits At Age 62?

Category: 
Sep 26 2019 - 4:49pm

i am a widow can i file for survivor benefits at age 62?
i am still working and make about 49,000 a year.
thanks

Hi,

Widow's benefits can potentially be paid as early as age 60, so if you meet the other requirements for widow's benefits you could claim those benefits at age 62 (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0401.html). However, your benefit rate would then be reduced for age, and $1 of your benefits would need to be withheld for each $2 that your earnings exceed the annual earnings test exempt amount. The exempt amount in 2019 is $17,640, but the amount changes annually.

Therefore, whether or not you could actually be paid widow's benefits at age 62 depends on your benefit rate in addition to your yearly earnings. It sounds like your best strategy would likely be one of the following;
1) File for reduced widow's benefits as early as age 60 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 at age 62 or as soon as your earnings will permit at least some benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at full retirement age (FRA). However, if your deceased spouse received reduced Social Security retirement benefits prior to his death then you would likely want to file for your widow's benefits earlier than FRA.

Normally, 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. Our software (https://maximizemysocialsecurity.com/purchase) could sort all of this out for you and help you determine your optimal filing strategy.

Best, Jerry