Ask Larry

If I Wait Until Age 70 To Collect My Deceased Husband's Benefits Will It Include DRCs?

I will be at full retirement age in Dec 2023. My spouse passed at age 40. His as benefit is higher than mine. I am still working. If I wait to collect his benefit when I’m 70 will it include the DRC?

Hi. No. Surviving spouses can't earn delayed retirement credits (DRC) by waiting past their full retirement age (FRA) to claim survivor benefits. Therefore, you would not want to wait past your FRA to claim survivor benefits.

Since you're apparently insured for benefits on your own account, your best filing strategy depends on how much you'll be earning this year and your comparative survivor and retirement benefit rates. If your own retirement benefit rate at age 70 would be higher than your survivor rate, then you should probably claim survivor benefits at FRA and then switch to your own retirement benefits at age 70.

However, if your own benefit rate would be lower than your survivor rate even if you waited until age 70 to claim retirement benefits, then you would likely only want to apply for your own benefits if your earnings would allow you to be paid some retirement benefits prior to your FRA for widow's benefits. Our software ( could help sort all of this out for you so that you can determine the best strategy for maximizing your benefits.

Best, Jerry

Apr 26 2023 - 12:00pm
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