Ask Larry

Can I Get Survivor Benefits Now That I'm Age 60 & 8 Months?

My husband of 23 years passed away in 2004 when I was 47 years old. At that time I was told that I could not get survivors benefits because of my age. I am now 60 years 8 months old. Can I file and draw survivors benefits now?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Reduced widow's benefits can be payable as early as age 60, so it sounds like you would be potentially eligible. However, the Social Security earnings test could limit your ability to receive benefits prior to full retirement age if you are still working (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/whileworking2.html).

Assuming that you also have enough work credits to qualify for benefits on your own record, your best option 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 at age 62 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.

Best, Jerry

Category: 
Posted: 
Aug 19 2017 - 7:40am
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