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LawTalk
LawTalk, Attorney
Category: Social Security
Satisfied Customers: 35374
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 am 63 years old. My husband passed away in 1997. Can I

Customer Question

I am 63 years old. My husband passed away in 1997. Can I collect on his social security now and then switch to mine when I retire?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Social Security
Expert:  LawTalk replied 1 year ago.

Good afternoon,

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

Yes, you are eligible to make a survivor claim now based on your husband's lifetime earnings and you may then switch to your own retirement benefit at a later time.

However, if you are still working outside the home and earning income, you need to be aware of the possible penalties if you are getting a survivor benefit before age 66 and you are earning income. Let me explain.

If you are under full retirement age for the entire year, social security will deduct $1 from your benefit payments for every $2 you earn above the annual limit. For 2015, that limit is $15,720.

In the year you reach full retirement age, social security will deduct $1 in benefits for every $3 you earn above a different limit. In 2015, the limit on your earnings is $41,880 but they only count earnings before the month you reach your full retirement age.

You may reply back to me using the Reply link and I will be happy to continue to assist you until I am able to address your concerns, to your satisfaction.

Please remember to rate my service to you so that I can be compensated for helping you. Thank you in advance.

I wish you and yours the best in 2015,

Doug