Will My Earnings Impact My Survivor Benefits?

Nov 1 2018 - 6:44am

I am 52, my husband (54) just died suddenly from a heart attack. I live in Georgia we have 2 teenage daughters. . I am an artist and sell consignment to a local shop. I have a 1099 with them - do not make much (2017 was $4800.00). Will this earning impact my survivor benefits? Because the amount I receive is 'unknown' (only paid if my art sells) am I considered 'working'. I don't want to put the wrong information when filing. Also, I learned my daughters and I qualified for Medicaid healthcare until they asked if I was receiving social security benefits and then I was 'denied' (girls were not but I was). I'm trying to find the laws about this....I feel so lost. Thank you.

Hi,

I'm sorry for your loss.

As long as your earnings don't exceed Social Security's earnings test exempt amount, they won't affect your Social Security survivor benefits. The exempt amount in 2018 is $17,040 and the 2019 exempt amount is $17,640, and it sounds like you're earning well below those limits.

You can continue to receive survivor benefits until your youngest child turns age 16. After that, unless at least one of your children are disabled and in your care, you would either need to be disabled or at least age 60 to potentially qualify for widow's benefits. Widow's benefits are reduced for age if you start drawing them prior to your full retirement age (FRA) of 67, though, so before reaching age 60 you may want to use our software to explore your various filing options and determine your best strategy for claiming benefits.

My only area of expertise is Social Security benefits, so I'm unable to help you with your Medicaid question. For more information on the Medicaid eligibility rules in your state, you might try the following website: https://georgia.gov/popular-topic/medicaid.

Best, Jerry