Ask Larry

Widow(er) Benefits

Can My Relative Get Widow's Benefits If She Divorces?

A relative of mine is a widow whose husband died about 15 years ago. She remarried before she turned 60, so she is not eligible to the survivor benefit from her late husband. She has been married less than 10 years. She is now 63. My understanding is if she and her current husband divorce, she would become eligible for his survivor benefit, which is 50% higher than her current full retirement amount. Is my understanding correct? Also, if it is correct, is there any waiting period after a divorce before she would be eligible for the survivor benefit?


Saturday, November 5, 2016 - 10:15

Is My Mom's Widow's Benefit Rate Correct?

My mom is collecting my deceased fathers social security benefit. However, the amount is the same amount he always received, which is less his medicare part B premium. Should his premium deduction be included in her check? She pays her own premium with her benefit check.

Hi Marie,

Well, the basic rule is that, generally, the surviving member of a couple receives the higher of their 2 benefits. In your parents' case, I gather that your father's benefit was the higher one.

Sunday, October 23, 2016 - 20:00

Were My Own Benefits Suspended When I Started Drawing Widow's Benefits?

I collected SS when I was 62. I am now 69. My husband who was 6 years younger than I passed away at 60 and had collected disability but not SS. Because he was disabled he was eligible for full benefits and I then began to collect at his SS which was $84 a month more than mine. Does that mean mine was suspended and at some point in the future I could collect on my own and possibly have a higher benefit?

Thanks you


Sunday, October 23, 2016 - 16:15

Why Aren't My Widow's Benefits Higher?

My husband passed away on Sept 25, 2016. I went to social security to apply for widow benefits. I am on disability drawing a disability check on my own work history. My husband was also on disability then when he reached retirement age his disability check changed to retirement check. I am 62 and my husband was 68 when he passed. The lady at the social security office told me that my widow benefit payment would be $145.00. How can that be correct when my husband was drawing $1230.90 a month and all I am going to get is $145.00.

Friday, October 21, 2016 - 22:15

Why Am I Getting Both Retirement And Widow's Benefits?

I just started receiving widows social security benefits this month. I was previously collecting social security benefits under my own record. The awards letter I just got told me I will be receiving a certain monthly amount under my widows benefits and will also be receiving benefits under my own record. How is this possible? I thought you could only collect under one record?


Thursday, September 29, 2016 - 16:00

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.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 11:30

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?

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 - 08:45

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,

Saturday, September 3, 2016 - 23:45
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