Can I claim survivor benefits now?

Published: July 12, 2023

Full question: I have plans to retire January 2024. I am only 64 and want to claim survivors benefits because my husband died on 2006. Want to switch to my social security when I reach the age. Do I have to wait until I retire to start receiving these benefits or can I start now? Also would the payments retro to the time he passed.


Thank you for your question about survivor benefits.

You may start to claim benefits before you retire, however since you are not yet Full Retirement Age, still working, and collecting Social Security benefits you will be subject to the earnings test.

You may claim survivor benefits and later switch to your own retirement benefits if they become larger. Survivor benefits are not retroactive to the time your husband passed. They are dependent on the amount he was entitled to collect and the age you collect them.

If you would like to speak directly with an RSSA and get more personalized support, schedule a call here.

Take care,

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