What Can I Receive From My Wife's Account?

Jul 5 2016 - 2:45pm

I will be 66 years old in August. I am working full time and have elected to defer taking my social security benefits until age 70.

My wife received social security disability benefits for several years due to leukemia. She passed away five years ago and these benefits ceased. She would have been 70 next January. I have not claimed any spousal benefits.

What, if anything, am I entitled to receive from my wife's social security account?

Thank you.


At age 66, it sounds like you'll be eligible for widower's benefits payable at 100% of your wife's primary insurance amount (PIA). This would essentially be her full disability benefit amount, including COLA increases that occurred after her death. You should probably contact Social Security to apply ASAP, since you can receive benefits starting at 66 regardless of how much you're earning.

Then, assuming that your own benefit amount is higher than the widower's benefit, you'll want to switch to your own account at age 70.

Best, Jerry