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Can a widower choose between his or his dead wife's social security retirement benefit depending on which is higher?

Cambridge, MA |
Filed under: Social security

The widower worked regularly and is only 58 right now.

The widower is currently working too.

Attorney Answers 2


Generally, at age 58, you can only receive benefits based on your late wife's work record if (1) she worked long enough that she would qualify for Social Security had she lived and (2) you are 50+ AND you are disabled AND the disability started before or within seven years of your wife''s death. Otherwise, you could start to withdraw reduced benefits on her work record at age 60.

The Social Security web site has more information for you:

E. Alexandra "Sasha" Golden is a Massachusetts lawyer. All answers are based on Massachusetts law. All answers are for educational purposes and no attorney-client relationship is formed by providing an answer to a question.

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Ms. Golden's recitation of the rules is accurate. At all times, when a Social Security beneficiary is entitled to benefits on more than one account, the higher will be payable.

Best wishes for a favorable outcome, and please remember to designate a best answer.

This answer is offered as a public service for general information only and may not be relied upon as legal advice.

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