Is It True That I Must Be Disabled To Receive Widow's Benefits At Age 60?

Category: 
Aug 4 2017 - 8:50am

I am 60 and had applied for my survivors benefits, my Husband died in 2012, I was denied because SS said I have to be disabled to be able to collect them, is that true? Thank you

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

No, you don't have to be disabled in order to qualify for widow's benefits at age 60. If that's what you were told by someone at Social Security then they misinformed you, but if you actually filed for benefits and your claim was disallowed, then there must be some other reason. I don't know what that might be in your case (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0401.html).

Before filing a claim or an appeal of your disallowance, you may want to explore your filing options. If you are also insured for benefits on your own record, your best filing strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow'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's benefits at full retirement age, or sooner if your husband received reduced retirement benefits before he died.

The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which of the above filing strategies is best in your case, as well as when to apply for each type of benefit. And, even if you are only eligible for widow's benefits, the software should be able to help you determine the best time to file.

Best, Jerry