Ask Larry

How Can I Collect My Disabled Widows Benefit

I'm on disability and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) when i was awarded my disability i was told at age 50 I would be able to collect on my husbands social security since he is deceased and I'm disabled now since 2014 when i was awarded I have been denied twice now what can be done and also how can i maximize my disability and SSI payments? Sincerely, Robin Dease

Dear Robin,

You are certainly eligible to collect what's called an excess widows benefit starting at age 50. Your excess widows benefit is the difference between your widows benefit and your disability benefit. I believe your SSI payments are reduced dollar for dollar by your Social Security benefits. So it's possible that your excess widows benefit is zero (It's set to zero if that difference is negative). Or perhaps Social Security is telling you that collecting your excess widows benefit could cost you as much in lost SSI benefits as you'd gain in excess widows benefits. If you are eligible to collect an excess widows benefit, it will be reduced because you are taking it before full retirement age. But that reduction will be undone at full retirement age. Please go back to Social Security's office, ask to speak to a supervisor, and have him/her explain exactly what's going on. Then return to our site and resubmit your question, but detailing the office you visited, the name of the person with whom you met, and what they told you.

best, Larry

Jun 17 2016 - 5:30am
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