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Chuck_from_SC
Level 1

survivor benefits

My late wife worked long enough to qualify for SS but passed away at 62. AS the surviving spouse am I entitled to benefits?

 

1 Best answer

Accepted Solutions
Joe_D-CPA-PFS-CFP
Employee Tax Expert

survivor benefits

Chuck,

 

When your wife died, you as a surviving spouse became eligible for survivor benefits. A surviving spouse can collect 100 percent of the late spouse’s benefit if the survivor has reached full retirement age, but the amount will be lower if the deceased spouse claimed benefits before he or she reached full retirement age. (Full retirement age for survivor benefits differs from that for retirement and spousal benefits; it is currently 66 but will gradually increasing to 67 over the next several years.)

 

If you were already receiving spousal benefits on the deceased’s work record, Social Security will in most cases switch you automatically to survivor benefits when the death is reported. Otherwise, you will need to apply for survivor benefits by phone at [phone number removed] or in person at your local Social Security office.

 

Keep in mind that you will not receive a survivor benefit in addition to your own retirement benefit; Social Security will pay the higher of the two amounts. You may claim benefits on your deceased spouse while delaying claiming your own until full retirement age. 

 

Joe D.

 

https://faq.ssa.gov/en-US/Topic/article/KA-02083

.

 

View solution in original post

6 Replies
JoeD_CPA_CFP
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

survivor benefits

Chuck,

There are several important and unique issues that must be considered for anyone that has recently lost their spouse or ex-spouse, before filing a claim to collect Social Security benefits.

  • Eligibility and age considerations
  • Length of marriage rules
  • Age that benefits can be collected by the survivor
  • Surviving spouse vs. surviving ex-spouse implications
  • Impact of a remarriage
  • Impact of having children
  • Impact of a disability

All of this information is relevant before the question can be answered correctly.

 

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Chuck_from_SC
Level 1

survivor benefits

JoeD:

Thank you for the prompt reply, it is very much appreciated. 

My wife was eligible to collect SS and did receive some disability benefits before she died.

She was 62 years of age

We were married 30 years

I am a surviving spouse and have not remarried, no children either

I have no disabilities

Thank you again

Chuck_from_SC

JoeD_CPA_CFP
Employee Tax & Finance Expert

survivor benefits

Chuck,

 

What is your current age?

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Chuck_from_SC
Level 1

survivor benefits

Joe:

I am 63 and my full SS retirement age is 66 and 8 months

Thanks

Joe_D-CPA-PFS-CFP
Employee Tax Expert

survivor benefits

Chuck,

 

When your wife died, you as a surviving spouse became eligible for survivor benefits. A surviving spouse can collect 100 percent of the late spouse’s benefit if the survivor has reached full retirement age, but the amount will be lower if the deceased spouse claimed benefits before he or she reached full retirement age. (Full retirement age for survivor benefits differs from that for retirement and spousal benefits; it is currently 66 but will gradually increasing to 67 over the next several years.)

 

If you were already receiving spousal benefits on the deceased’s work record, Social Security will in most cases switch you automatically to survivor benefits when the death is reported. Otherwise, you will need to apply for survivor benefits by phone at [phone number removed] or in person at your local Social Security office.

 

Keep in mind that you will not receive a survivor benefit in addition to your own retirement benefit; Social Security will pay the higher of the two amounts. You may claim benefits on your deceased spouse while delaying claiming your own until full retirement age. 

 

Joe D.

 

https://faq.ssa.gov/en-US/Topic/article/KA-02083

.

 

Chuck_from_SC
Level 1

survivor benefits

Joe:

You have my thanks

Chuck

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