What is my mom eligible to collect from my deceased dad’s benefits if she is currently working?
Full question: My mom just turned 62, not yet collecting Social Security. Her husband (my dad) died at age 46. She works full-time. What is my mom eligible to collect from my deceased dad’s benefits and will her current income have an impact on this?
Your mom should look into survivor benefits if she is unmarried or was remarried after age 60. I am assuming that your dad qualified for Social Security retirement benefits by acquiring 40 or more credits, or quarters of coverage, since he was 46 and had probably worked for at least 10 years.
You can find information on survivor benefits here. The ability to start collecting widow survivor benefits, and then later switch to her own retirement benefits when they have become larger, is something to consider. Your mom will also need to keep in mind the earnings test if she collects benefits while still working and younger than her FRA.
Your mom should call Social Security and have your dad’s information available (birthdate, SSN, date of death, etc.) to speak with someone. If the SSA still has his earnings record, that would be very helpful to have. Otherwise, ask for an estimate of what she is entitled to as a survivor at certain ages. Make sure she takes notes, gets the name of the person she speaks with and keeps track of the date and time of the call.
If you would like a RSSA to do a complete analysis for your mom, please visit RSSA.com to book a consultation.
Do you have a question about Social Security? Ask Martha your own question here.