How do I switch from survivor benefits to my own retirement benefits?

Published: March 14, 2023

Full question: Currently, I am collecting survivor benefits (wife deceased). I am 69 and I want to switch to my own Social Security benefits as it is much higher. What is the form name/number that I must complete? What information/documentation will I need to provide? (I have spent time looking for this information on the internet but have not found anything yet). THANKS!


Thank you for your question about switching from survivor to retirement benefits.

To make the switch from a survivor benefit to your own retirement benefit, which will reach its highest amount at age 70, you may either apply online at SSA.GOV or make an appointment with your local office to apply in person.

You may start the application process up to 3 months prior to when you want your benefits to switch over since it can take 4 to 6 weeks for the SSA to process an application.

All the best,

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