If I'm Drawing My Own Benefits And My Husband Dies, Can I Draw From His Social Security?

Apr 13 2019 - 2:05pm

I'm 61 and I'm looking to retire in a year at 62 (DOB: 4/7/1958). I understand that I will be drawing my SS at a reduced rate. My question is, with my husband being 5 years older (66) if he was to pass away later (heaven forbid) could I then draw from his SS or do I have to continue to draw from mine.


Yes, you could potentially qualify for widow's benefits if your husband dies after you start drawing your benefits and his benefit rate is higher than yours. You wouldn't simply switch from your own benefits to widow's benefits in that event, however. Instead, you would continue to receive your own benefits and you could then file for additional partial widow's benefits. In most cases, your widow's rate would be calculated by subtracting your own retirement benefit rate from your deceased husband's full rate, which would give you a combined amount equal to your husband's full rate. However, if you start drawing your widow's benefits prior to your full retirement age (FRA) your benefit rate could be reduced for age.

Before you decide when to file for benefits, you should strongly consider using our software to explore and compare your options so that you can choose the best possible strategy for claiming your benefits.

Best, Jerry