When a husband or wife passes away, money is the last thing on your mind. Be this as it may, the finances of your deceased spouse will eventually graze the surface, specifically when it comes time to collect your Social Security benefits. To make things a little easier for you, I have created this list of facts for collecting your widower’s Social Security benefits.
1. Your widower’s benefit does not affect your own Social Security benefit.
Many citizens are under the misconception that accepting a widower’s benefit from Social Security for the deceased spouse will have a negative impact on the amount they will receive from their individual benefits, but that’s not true. Regardless of how much you receive via your survivor benefit, your own, personal benefit will not be penalized as a result. In other words, you will be able to receive a widower’s benefit in addition to your full retirement benefits.
2. Survivor benefits are based on the deceased individual’s full retirement age (FRA) benefit and your age when you begin to receive benefits.
If your deceased spouse did not receive a reduced retirement benefit you will be entitled to 100% of the deceased spouse’s benefit plus any applicable delayed retirement credits. If your deceased spouse was receiving reduced retirement benefits you will be entitled to the higher of what he/she would be receiving if he/she were still alive or 82.5% of his/her full retirement amount.
3. Even if you have no children, or if your children aren’t eligible for Social Security earnings, you are still entitled to a survivor’s benefit, should your spouse pass away.
When it comes to Social Security, some people believe that in order to collect a survivor’s benefit after a spouse has passed away, there has to be a child involved, but that’s not the case. Even if you and your spouse have no children, you, alone, are still entitled to a survivor’s/widower’s benefit when the time comes to collect your Social Security.
4. If you remarry after the age of 60, you will still be entitled to the Social Security benefits of your previous marriage.
There is nothing wrong with finding love later in life after a spouse has passed away, and Social Security respects that. That being said, if you remarry after the age of 60, you are still fully entitled to the survivors benefit of your late husband or wife.
Losing a loved one is never easy, but the Social Security fund does what it can to ease the financial pain that comes without the added income when a spouse passes away. To find out how much you are entitled to, consider my benefits guide that outlines each possible scenario.