Can I Receive Widow's Benefits From Both Social Security And My Husband's Federal Employment?

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Jan 9 2018 - 6:28am

my husband was a Federal Employee, he died 15 years ago since then i have been receiving a widows benefit am i entitled to his social security when i turn 60.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

The answer is likely yes, assuming that your husband was insured for Social Security. Receipt of a federal civil service survivor annuity would have no adverse affect on your potential Social Security benefits. However, if you start drawing widow's benefits at age 60 as opposed to full retirement age (FRA), your benefit rate will be reduced by 28.5%.

If you are also insured for benefits based on your own earnings, your best strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for widow's benefits at age 60 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 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 your full retirement age.

Our maximization software can help you determine which of the above filing strategies would be best in your case.

Best, Jerry