If I Die Can My Wife Collect Social Security Survivor Benefits?

Jan 8 2019 - 4:39pm

My wife and I were married in Nevada 2 years ago. I am 57 and she is 30. I am considering taking benefits at 62 She is from the Philippines. We are considering moving to the Philippines and by passing her chance to get a green card and later US citizenship. If I die, can she collect surviving spousal social security benefits at 62?

Hi,

Assuming that your wife isn't a U.S. citizen and she's living in the Philippines, she could only qualify for survivor benefits on your account if the two of you resided together as husband and wife for at least 5 years (https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0302610030). Additional requirements to qualify for widow's benefits can be found in this section of Social Security's handbook: https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0401.html.

Best, Jerry