At what age can I draw on my deceased husband’s social security benefits?

Q) At what age can I draw on my deceased husband’s social security benefits?

A) As a spouse, you may be eligible for survivor benefits on your deceased husband’s Social Security record as early as age 60, or age 50 if you are disabled. However, the exact age at which you can draw on your deceased husband’s benefits depends on several factors, including your own age, your current marital status, and your husband’s age at the time of his death.

If you are already receiving Social Security benefits on your own record, you may be able to switch to survivor benefits if they are higher. If you are not currently receiving Social Security benefits, you can apply for survivor benefits by contacting the Social Security Administration.

It’s important to note that survivor benefits are typically calculated based on your husband’s lifetime earnings, so the amount of benefits you receive may vary depending on his earnings history. Additionally, if you remarry before age 60 (or age 50 if you are disabled), you generally cannot receive survivor benefits on your deceased husband’s record unless the subsequent marriage ends (whether by death, divorce, or annulment).

According to the Social Security Administration: If you are the widow or widower of a person who worked long enough under Social Security, you can:

  • receive full benefits at full retirement age for survivors or reduced benefits as early as age 60.
  • begin receiving benefits as early as age 50 if you are disabled AND the disability started before or within seven years of the worker’s death.

    Note: If a widow or widower who is caring for the worker’s children receives Social Security benefits, he or she is still eligible if their disability starts before those payments end or within seven years after they end.

    A widow, widower or surviving divorced spouse cannot apply online for survivors benefits. If you wish to apply for disability benefits as a survivor, contact Social Security at 1-800-772-1213 to request an appointment. (If you are deaf or hard of hearing, call our TTY number,1-800-325-0778.)

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