Is It True That My Friend Can't Receive Any Of Her Deceased Husband's Benefits?

Category: 
Aug 1 2020 - 9:20am

Larry,
I am asking for my friend, Robin. She lived in NV when her husband passed away, a year ago. She now resides in Kansas. She is 64y/o and was told she could NOT receive any of her husband’s benefits until she was 66y/o. Is that true and if so Why?
Thank You,
Melanie

Hi Melanie,

I don't enough information to know if what your friend was told is correct or not. A person can potentially be eligible for widow's benefits as early as age 60, so your friend meets the age requirement. The only reason I can think of why she might be able to draw benefits at age 66 and not at age 64 is if she's working and earning too much. Social Security's earnings test (https://www.ssa.gov/benefits/retirement/planner/whileworking.html) can limit a person's ability to draw benefits prior to their full retirement age (FRA) depending on their work and earnings.

Another factor is whether or not your friend is receiving her own Social Security benefits. If she is, she could only collect widow's benefits if her widow's rate is higher than her own rate. Your friend may want to consider using our software to determine her best strategy for claiming benefits.

Your friend should qualify for at least a one-time death benefit of $255 if she and her husband were living together, so she should probably apply for that benefit if she hasn't already done so.

Best, Jerry