February 17th, 2015 → 12:59 am @ // No Comments

How do you claim them? How much can you receive?

About 5 million widowed Americans get Social Security survivor benefits. If your spouse has passed, you may be eligible to collect them. This means that you could receive as much as 100% of your late spouse’s Social Security income in addition to your own.

Some widows and widowers aren’t aware of these additional retirement benefits. That’s a shame, because they can provide significant financial help during a period of uncertainty.

You can file for survivor benefits at age 60. In fact, you can claim them as early as age 50 if you are disabled (per Social Security’s definition of disability) and if the condition that left you disabled began before or within seven years of your husband’s or wife’s death. In contrast, you can’t put in a claim for spousal Social Security benefits until age 62.

You have to call Social Security to apply for these benefits. Dial 1-800-772-1213 to do that (or 1-800-325-0778 if you are deaf or have trouble hearing). The SSA doesn’t yet permit widows and widowers to apply for survivor benefits online.

You are actually calling to make an appointment at your local Social Security office, where you can …Read More

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