When Can I Start Collecting Widow's Benefits?

Category: 
Jun 22 2017 - 8:27am

My husband died at the age of 67 and was just starting to collect social security. That was 3 years ago. I am currently 54. When can I collect his social security. Anyway around the age 60 or disabled age 50?

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

Reduced widow's benefits can be paid as early as age 60, or age 50 if the widow is disabled (https://www.ssa.gov/OP_Home/handbook/handbook.04/handbook-0401.html). So, you could potentially be eligible for benefits now if you are disabled.

If you are insured for benefits on your own record and you are not disabled, your best filing strategy is likely one of the following:
1) File for reduced widow's benefits at age 60 or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then switch to your own record at age 70; or,
2) File for reduced retirement benefits at age 62 or as soon as your earnings will permit benefits to be paid, then file for unreduced widow's benefits at full retirement age.

The maximization software available on this website can help you determine which of the above filing strategies is best in your case, as well as when to apply for each type of benefit.

Best, Jerry