Saturday, March 26, 2011

Widow's Benefit On Top Of Disability Benefit

Suzanne from Florida writes:
I only have one question - I am 58 years old and am on social security disability. My husband is 78 years old and gets regular social security. If he dies (heaven forbid) do I get any of his benefits as a survivor on top of my disability payments????

ANSWER: Yes Suzanne, you would be eligible for a widow's benefit even though you are under age 60 because you are disabled. Disabled widows are eligible as young as age 50 if totally disabled. The benefit would be reduced for age as if you were age 60. The difference between your disability benefit and the widow's benefit would be added to your disability amount, so although you would be receiving two benefits, the total would be no higher than the widow's benefit amount alone. Of course, if your own disability benefit is higher you would continue to receive that. You could also defer receiving the widow's benefit to full retirement age to get an unreduced benefit then if it is higher.  But let's hope you don't need to consider these things for a long, long time!

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