What Will I Lose If I Apply To Collect My Own SS Benefits?

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Jan 14 2020 - 7:25am

My husband died in April 2008. I started to collect my widow benefit in October of 2009 at age 60 and 10 months. I am now 71 years old and still have my own social security benefits I have not collected. What will I lose if anything if I apply to collect my SS benefits

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

If you file for your own benefits those benefits will offset your widow's benefits dollar for dollar. However, if your own Social Security retirement benefit rate would be higher than your widow's rate you would want to file for your own benefits ASAP. The delayed retirement credits that can increase your Social Security retirement benefit rate stop accruing at age 70, so the benefit rate you'd be paid on your own record would not get any higher if you delay filing. You can only claim benefits retroactively for a maximum of 6 months from the month of your application, so if your retirement benefit rate is higher than your widow's rate a delay in applying may result in a further loss of benefits.

Best, Jerry