Ask Larry

If I File For Widow's Benefits At Age 62, Will I Get A Greater Amount At Age 66?

I'm 62 my husband just passed away at 65 he wAs already collecting social security benefits. If I collect survival benefits now at a reduced rate will I get the greater amount at 66


I'm sorry for your loss.

Unless you are receiving Social Security disability benefits or if you are working and some or all of your benefits are withheld, any reduction for age that you take in order to receive your widow's benefits early would be permanent. However, since your husband was receiving reduced retirement benefits, your maximum possible widow's rate would be the higher of a) his reduced rate, or b) 82.5% of his primary insurance amount. This is referred to as a RIB-LIM widows calculation (

The bottom line is that you will likely want to file for widow's benefits at some point prior to age 66. And, if you are also eligible for benefits on your own record, there are several possible filing strategies to consider. The maximization software available on this website can help you determine the optimal time to file for widows benefits and/or retirement benefits on your own record.

Best, Jerry

Jun 21 2017 - 7:17am
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