Widow(er) Benefits

What Happens If I Die Soon, And Do We Have Any Options?

I am 69 and starting collecting at age 66. My wife is 68 and also started collecting at 66. I receive approximately $2,000.00 per month and my wife collects approximately $1,000.00 per month.

If I should die anytime soon what happens to our benefits? Do we have any options?

Thank you so much!


Hi Paul,

Either or both of you could voluntarily suspend your benefits and resume them at age 70 at a higher monthly rate. I can't think of any other options that you still have available.

What Is the Max My Wife Can Collect If I Die?


Thanks for the great service you are providing in maintaining this website.
I am 70 and took reduced benefits of approximately $1750/mo. at age 64. My wife of 7 years just turned 60 but has never worked or paid money into Social Security. Can she begin to draw Soc Sec benefits at age 62 based upon my earnings? Would her benefit be 50% of my $1750 less some additional reduction for taking the benefits before her full retirement age?
I want to know what happens on my death. How is her survivors benefit calculated? What is the maximum she can receive?

Can I Collect A Widows Benefit From Both Social Security and the Israeli Pension System?

Hi Larry,

My son and I currently receive Survivor/child benefits from SS. lately, I have known that we also qualify for widow/child pensions in Israel too, since my late husband had full-time jobs at both CA and Israel.
Before I can file for the pension in Israel, I need to know if receiving that pension would reduce our SS Survivor/child benefits and how would I file it in my Taxes?? My son and I are both US citizens and live in CA.
Thank you so much.
Tara Damos

Dear Tara,

Can I Collect A Widows Benefit If My Husband Died Before We Were Married For Nine Months

Hello Larry,

I filed for widow benefits this year at 60 years of age and was denied because I wasn’t married to my husband for at least nine months before he died. This is true. Is there any exception, recourse or loop hole to this decision?

My husband to be and I planned to marry in June, 2004, he was diagnosed with cancer, we moved the date up and married on June 11, 2003, he died February 5th, 2004. These are the basic facts.

Dear Anita,

When Will I Receive My Higher Widow's Benefits?

My husband who received a higher SS payment than me passed away the middle of June. I have filed the appropriate paperwork at my local SS office but am wondering when I can expect to receive his higher amount and also if they will be retroactive dating back to June. If there is anything else I should be doing, please let me know. I received my August payment today and see it is still only my lower amount. Thank you for your help.


Can My Wife Continue To Receive Reduced Spousal Benefits If I Die?

I am 71, and started my retirement benefit at 70. My wife is 62 and just started receiving her spousal benefit. She does not qualify for benefits on her own record. If I pass away prior to my wife reaching her FRA, can she continue to collect her current spousal benefit until her FRA, and then switch to her 'maximized' survivor benefit?


No, she can't. If you die before she reaches full retirement age, which is 66 in her case, her benefits will automatically convert to reduced widow's benefits effective with the month of your death.

Can I Draw Widow's Benefits Even Though I'm Remarried?

I am 63 and want to make the best decision about social security. My first husband died 18 years ago. I remarried 5 years ago (my husband is 59). Is it possible to claim my first husbands social security. He would be 69 now.


No, you can't receive widow's benefits unless you are unmarried, or if remarried, the remarriage took place after you reached age 60.