Ask Larry

Widow(er) Benefits

When Should I File For Widow's Benefits?

My husband died in 2002 leaving one child under 19 years of age. He received SS benefits until he completed high school. I did not receive widows benefits. I retired last August at 62 and moved from CA to MI. I began receiving my own SS in Sept. My understanding is that when I am 66 I can take my full survivor's benefits and that waiting until 70 or ? would not increase my benefits. Is this correct?


Saturday, July 23, 2016 - 17:30

Will My Widow's Benefits Be Taxed Or Reduced Due To My Earnings?

I am 57, working full time. I will collect widow benefits at 60. Will this benefit be taxable or reduced because I will still be working full time?


If you apply for benefits prior to full retirement age, Social Security will withhold $1 of benefits for each $2 that you earn in excess of an exempt amount, which in 2016 is set at $15720. The exempt amount is higher in the year you reach full retirement age, and the withholding rate drops to $1 for each $3 of excess earnings.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016 - 12:15

I'm Disabled. Why Can't I Collect A Full Widows Benefit In Addition To My Disability Benefit

I have read your book , Get what's yours, and it seems to conflict with the answer I get from Social security. I further took a class in social security and they said my case was complicated and they didn't know much about disability issues. The teacher then asked some colleagues who gave him " I think this is right" kind of answers, so I decided I needed to contact you.

I was married on June 21, 1986. I was married 16 years. Divorced on March 8, 2002 I have not re-married.

Saturday, July 16, 2016 - 21:30

Can My Mom Collect Widows Benefits Based On My Dad's Work Record? He Was Not A U.S. Citizen.

Dear Larry,

My father passed away last month he was 75 years old . My dad was a resident in United States he work all his life .my mom is a us citiZen and she is 73 years old and taking social security . My dad never claimed his social security . He went to Pakistan and got sick he never made it back to United States can my mom claim the social security benefits of my dad or is there any other way we can claim his benefits that will be very helpful for us .

Thank you, Noman

Dear Noman,

Saturday, July 16, 2016 - 21:30

Can I File For Widower's Benefits?

I turn 64 in December. Can I file for spousal benefits from my deceased ex wife of 18 years? She died 20 years ago so her earnings were minimal. Is what her age would have been a factor? She would have been 61 this September. I am contemplating retirement soon and am trying to not claim on my own until my full retirement age of 66 so any additional income would help

Wednesday, July 13, 2016 - 14:45

Should I Take My Widow's Benefit Early?

I am 64 and began takin a early retirement benefit from SS of $611. Per month just to cover a car payment. My husband planed on taking his retirement at 66 and I would then take a spousal benefit that would be substantially larger than what I had earned in my own. My husband has passed away unexpectedly at age 65; he had not taken any benefits yet.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 20:30

Will My Spouse's Widow(er)'s Benefit Be Reduced by Taking an Early Retirement Benefit?

Hi, I was born 10/1948 and my wife was born 12/1958. I plan to take my benefits at age 70 at their maximum. If I die before my wife's FRA, will her survivor benefits, taken at her FRA, be reduced if she has taken benefits on her own work record at age 62? Thanks, Andy

Andy, your wife's widow's benefit will not be reduced if she files for her retirement benefit before her full retirement age (FRA). Her widow's benefit will only be reduced if she files for it before her FRA. Thanks, John

Tuesday, July 12, 2016 - 19:30

Can I Receive Widow's Benefits?

may I draw my husbands s.s. at his death


I can't answer that question without much more information. To be eligible as a widow, you must meet the requirements (See: And, if you are already entitled to benefits on your own record when your husband dies, you will only be eligible for widow's benefits if his benefit amount is higher than yours.

Best, Jerry

Monday, July 11, 2016 - 11:00
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