Can My Mother Collect A Widow's Benefit?

Category: 
Oct 5 2019 - 5:32pm

Can my mother collect a widows benefit?
Father passed away 3/19 Ava 74 and was retired. He had been collecting ss for approximately 10 yrs (+/-$1700/mo). Mom is 75 and still working full time (+/-$124000). Can she collect widows benefits?
Thank you for your response. She lives in NY state.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

You don't mention whether or not your mother is drawing her own Social Security retirement benefits, but assuming that she's eligible she should be drawing them if she's not. Your mother could only get the higher of her own Social Security retirement rate or her widow's rate, so she'd want to file for widow's benefits if that rate is higher than her own rate. Your mother's potential widow's benefit rate would likely be at least 100% of what her husband was receiving, but it could even be somewhat higher than that if he started drawing reduced benefits prior to ag 63.

If your mother is receiving her benefits and her benefit rate is higher than her widow's rate she wouldn't be eligible for any monthly survivor benefits from her husband's record, but she would likely qualify for a one time $255 death benefit (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/survivors/ifyou.html).

Best, Jerry