Ask Larry

Widow's Benefits

Do My Earnings Disqualify Me From Immediately Collecting Survivor Benefits?

my late husband and I were married for 40 years. He just died at age 64. I am 62. He was still working, not collecting any Social Security benefits. I currently earn about $45,000 per anum. Because his care prior to his passing has cleaned us out, I cannot hope to keep our newly purchased (last 3 years, no real equity) on my salary alone. Do my earnings disqualify me from collecting any immediate survivor benefits?


I'm sorry for your loss.

Monday, August 14, 2017 - 06:54

Can My Mother Get Both Her Own Benefits And Widow's Benefits?

My father (71, started collecting SS at 62) is about to pass (cancer) and my mom (married to my dad 49 years) retired at 66 yrs old (in 2015). They have been collecting both SS checks and my mom's is larger than my dad's. Will she be able to keep both checks going forward or is she only able to keep hers?


I'm sorry to hear about your father's prognosis.

Saturday, August 12, 2017 - 08:31

Can My Friend Draw Social Security And VA Benefits In India?

My friend's husband is drawing Social Security and VA Benefits and he has a few weeks left to live. She is a US Citizen and wants to move back to India to live with her daughter. Can she draw her husband's Social Security and his VA Check together. She will turn 60 Nov. 11th. Thank you for your time and your help.

Hi Paula,

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 - 13:31

Can A Woman Collect Reduced Retirement Benefits And Still Get A Full Widow's Benefit Later?

if a woman is collecting early (therefore, reduced) social security payments and her spouse later dies, can she get 100% survivor benefits from her deceased spouse who collected at full retirement age?


Yes, provided that the woman is at least full retirement age when she starts drawing the survivor benefits. What she would actually receive in that event is her own reduced rate, plus the difference between that amount and her deceased spouse's full rate. The total amount payable would add up to her deceased husband's full rate.

Friday, August 4, 2017 - 10:09

Will My Wife's Widow's Benefits Be Reduced If She Takes Reduced Spousal Benefits?

Question regarding Spousal and Survivor’s benefits.

If my spouse obtains her spousal benefit before her FRA then her spousal benefit will be reduced from otherwise. Understood!

Now should I pass AFTER she is older than her FRA will her Survivor’s benefit be reduced as well? Or because she is then beyond her FRA will she then obtain her full benefit?

Thank you for your assistance.


Friday, July 28, 2017 - 14:33

Can My Deceased Father's Common Law Wife Claim His Benefits?

Can my deceased father's common law wife claim his social security benefits? She is a Canadian citizen.


I can't answer that question without much more information. Canadian citizens can be eligible for widow's benefits from Social Security, but they must meet all of the requirements for entitlement (

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 19:15

Can I Receive Widow's Benefits Now?

My husband passed away in May at the age of 69 and had been receiving social security. Do I receive any social security benefits? I am 49, and working full time. If I don't receive any right now, do I receive any later on if I am not married and still working? If so, at what age should I apply? 6-? It sooks like I can collect his until I retire and then I lose his, but collect mine. I am not sure if this is the case due to our ages. Thank you in advance.


I'm sorry for your loss.

Tuesday, July 25, 2017 - 06:40
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