Is It True That They Look At Your Past 5 Years To Determine Your Benefit Rate?

Oct 10 2019 - 8:59pm

My spouse died before I turned 60. He was receiving social security benefits. I remarried before I started collecting widow benefits. Now at age 65 I am receiving disability as at a discounted rate, because my husband receives disability ss and I am receiving a payment from worker compensation. just received a letter from ss saying they were taking me off of disability and putting on retirement ss. Is it true that they look at your past 5 years to determine your monthly benefit. Can I still receive my deceased husband's benefits? I am still disabled and cannot work. I hoping you can answer my questions. Thank you

Hi,

No that isn't true. Social Security retirement benefits are based on an average of a person's highest 35 years of wage-indexed earnings (https://www.ssa.gov/pubs/EN-05-10070.pdf). Social Security disability (SSDI) benefits are calculated in the same basic manner as retirement benefits, but if a person becomes disabled prior to age 62 fewer earnings years are used in the average.

Your SSDI benefits will convert to regular Social Security retirement benefits at the same rate effective with the month you reach full retirement age (FRA). However, if any of your SSDI benefits were being offset due to the receipt of workers compensation, that offset will no longer apply to your Social Security retirement benefits.

If you remarried prior to age 60 and unless you already qualified for disabled widow's benefits when you remarried, you couldn't claim benefits on a prior spouse's record for as long as your current marriage continues.

Best, Jerry