How Much Can I Earn And Still Receive Widower's Benefits?

Jun 6 2017 - 6:41am

I have been told that I can still work while collecting SS for widow benifites. How much can I make a month while doing this? I have an under age daughter still at home also. I just turned 60 in April. My wife passed in 2011.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

The exempt amount of earnings for 2017 is $16,920. If you earn more than that, you would lose $1 of benefits for each $2 of excess earnings. However, you could be paid for any month in which you earn less than $1,410 regardless of your calendar year earnings (https://www.ssa.gov/planners/retire/rule.html).

Your best option is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow(er)'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 at age 62 or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow(er)'s benefits at full retirement age.

The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which of these strategies is best in your case, as well as when to apply for each type of benefit.

Best, Jerry