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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 27889
Experience:  I have 30 years of legal and litigation experience, including representing clients before the U.S. Social Security Administration.
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I was married to a man for 25 years and we both are not re-married.

Customer Question

I was married to a man for 25 years and we both are not re-married. He died last Sept. (2012) Am I entitled to any of his social security benefits ? I am 59 years old. His social security # XXXXX XXX-XX-XXXX mine is XXX-XX-XXXX
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good evening Carolyn,

I'm Doug, and I'm very sorry to hear of your situation. My goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

As you have not remarried, there are a couple of benefits that you may qualify for---but you must pick just one.

First, because you were married more than 10 years, you will qualify for an ex-spouse retirement benefit when you turn age 62. Your benefit would be about 35% of what his full retirement age benefit would be.

However, you may also apply for an ex-spouse survivor benefit which you may claim at age 60---or as early as age 50 if you are legally disabled---and that benefit will pay you, at age 60, approximately 72% of his full retirement age benefit.

If you have social security retirement accumulated because you have worked and earned benefits during your life, you may take the survivor benefit at age 60 and then take your own retirement benefit late if it will pay you more.

The one thing to consider is that if you work and earn wages now, if you earn too much, you will lose part or all of the benefit that you might quality for until you reach at least full retirement age---which for you is age 66.

As an employee, if you begin your benefit before age 66, there is a special rule that applies to earnings for the first year of retirement. Under this rule, you can get a full Social Security check for any whole month you are retired, regardless of your yearly earnings. In 2013, a person under full retirement age for the entire year is considered retired if monthly earnings are $1,260 or less.

After your first calendar year in retirement, Social Security deducts $1.00 for each $2.00 you earn above a certain level---which in 2013 is $15,120.00.

In the year you reach full retirement age, Social Security will just deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit, but you are only penalized for the months before your month of full retirement, and in those months---no matter how many or few they are, the limit is $40,080.

You may reply back to me again, using the Reply to Expert link, if you have additional questions.

I wish you the best in your future,

Doug

 

Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.
Good evening Carolyn,

I wanted to thank you for using JustAnswer, and to inquire whether my answer to you was helpful to your understanding of the law, as regards XXXXX XXXXX

Is there anything else that I can assist you with, please feel free to ask. If you do not require further legal information at this time, please feel free to bookmark my profile so you can request me when you do have another question. Here is a link to my profile: http://www.justanswer.com/law/expert-lawtalk/

Thank you very much and take care.

Doug

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