Ask Larry

Collecting Off Of Two Spouses

How Does It Work If You Qualify For Widow's Benefits On More Than One Record?

I lost my first husband of almost 25 years in 2008 from a heart attack, we discovered he had a heart condition, he was only 48 years old. I received a $255 death benefit, and our son received survivors benefits for about 1 year until he graduated high school, that amounted to about $925 a month.

Thursday, September 14, 2017 - 08:48

Can My Mother Draw Benefits From Both Of Her Deceased Spouses?

My mom is drawing from my father who is deceased, they were married for 25 years. She remarried six years ago and her spouse passed away this year earlier. Can she draw from both spouses? Thanks for your thoughts.



No, your mother can't draw benefits on both of her deceased husbands' records at the same time. She would only be able to receive widow's benefits on her second husband's record if her benefit rate on his account would be higher than the rate she currently receives on your father's record.

Best, Jerry

Friday, September 1, 2017 - 07:27

Will The Rate Reduction I Took On My 2nd Husband's Record Apply To Benefits On My 1st Husband's Record?

I have been widowed twice, and am currently unmarried. I am currently receiving survivor benefits from my second husband, which I began taking at 63. If I switch to my first husbands survivor benefit-which most likely is larger (I am now 67 and we were married for 20 years) would they be decreased because I received early benefits from my second husband?


No. The entitlements are separate, and any reduction taken on the one record wouldn't carry over to your benefit rate on the other record.

Friday, May 12, 2017 - 08:14

Are There Any Other Benefits I Can Get?

I was married for 14 years then divorced. Later I remarried someone else. The 2nd husband died and I started collecting widows benefits at age 60. I am now 72. Are there any other benefits I can get?


Theoretically, at least, you could be eligible for a higher benefit on your own account, or on your first husband's record. You would only receive whichever benefit is highest, though. If you haven't checked this out with Social Security, you should do so ASAP.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016 - 11:00

When Should I Collect Widows Benefits From My Deceased First Spouse?

Hi Larry,
William was 62 in August 2015. Becky, my wife, is presently receiving SSDI payments and she is 62 in May 2016. Becky was married 30 years to another man who is now deceased. William married Becky after her 60th birthday. William will file a restricted application for spousal payments at his FRA August 2019. I want to maximize my social security so tell me if this is a viable strategy.

Thursday, June 9, 2016 - 00:00
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