When Can I Start Receiving Widow's Benefits?

Category: 
Oct 29 2016 - 10:15am

I will be 66 in Feb. however, I opted for early Social Security at age 62. My husband recently died & we were married for 32 years. His SS amount was higher than mine. Am I eligible right now to "upgrade" to his amount or do I have to wait until I'm 66 in Feb. 2017? Thank you in advance!

Hi,

First of all, I'm very sorry for your loss.

It sounds like you are eligible to start receiving widow's benefits now, but they may be somewhat reduced if you start drawing them before age 66. However, if your husband received reduced Social Security benefits prior to his death, there may be no advantage in your waiting to apply.

I would strongly suggest contacting Social Security as soon as possible. They should be able to tell you how much your widow's benefits would be if you took them now, versus waiting until next February.

Best, Jerry