Can a widow who has never taken survivor benefits get a lump sum payment for all the missed years of collection?

Published: February 15, 2024

Full question: Can a 94 year old widow who has NEVER taken her Social Security benefits get the benefits now? If yes, would she get a Lump Sum payment for the past 20 years of eligibility?

Hi there,

Well yes, it would appear so.

I am assuming you are speaking about survivor benefits.

These need to be applied for on the phone or in person, not online. The maximum retroactive payment is 6 months. However, it would not hurt to ask, or appeal that rule, for a longer retroactive time period given the extraordinary delay from age 70.

Best of luck,

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