Ask Larry

Can My Mother Get My Dad's Social Security Benefits?


My dad is 70yrs old and is a Social Security pensioner even if he is not a US Citizen. Sadly he passed away last Dec of 2020. My mom is 63yrs old and they have been married for 37yrs. My mom is living outside of US. We just want to ask and know if my mom can get the Social Security benefits of my dad. Thank you!


I'm sorry for your loss.

Your mother wouldn't be able to continue drawing your father's actual benefits, but it's possible that she may qualify for survivor benefits. I can't tell you whether or not your mother would be eligible to collect survivor benefits, though, because the correct answer depends on factors such as your mother's countries of citizenship and residence, and possibly the amount of time that your mother and father lived together in the U.S. as a couple.

If your mother does qualify for survivor benefits, her best course of action would likely depend on a) the age at which your father started drawing his benefits, and b) whether or not your mother is eligible for Social Security benefits based on her own earnings, and if so the the comparative amounts of your mother's own benefit and her potential survivor benefit rate. Your mother should probably contact Social Security to see what if any benefits she may qualify for.

Best, Jerry

Jan 14 2021 - 12:20pm
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