Who Is Eligible For Widow(er) Benefits?

Aug 26 2016 - 10:45am

Hello. I am 58 yrs. old. I am now currently married to my second husband. I was married first for 20 yrs. My ex just passed away about a month ago.He was 62. Together we had 3 grown up children. However he was also married a second time but had no children. Who qualifies for his benefits? Thank you in advance.


Both you and the second wife could potentially receive widow's benefits on your first husband's record, but you can't qualify for them as long as you are remarried. There is actually no limit on the number of surviving spouse's and ex-spouse's who could receive survivor benefits on the same account, as long as they meet all of the eligibility factors. Technically, benefits for ex-spouse's are called surviving divorced spouse's benefits, but otherwise there is no significant difference between those benefits and widow(er) benefits.

If you were to divorce, or your current husband dies before you, you could become eligible for surviving divorced spousal benefits as early as age 60, although they'd be permanently reduced if you start them before reaching full retirement age.

Best, Jerry