Social Security Questions? Ask a Social Security Expert
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Yes you can claim his benefit if it is higher which will depend on your deceased spouse's income from throughout his life. Social Security counts 35 years of income as an average and normally requires 10 years of working to be eligible. You can receive benefits at age 60 (with a reduction , receiving 70% to 99% of your deceased husbands benefits), 100% at full retirement age for survivors (since you are 66, this should be the situation you are in). If you remarry after age 60, according to SSA, you can continue to collect the survivor benefit. You will need to give SS a call ( you cannot apply online for a widow's benefits) to ascertain your exact benefit. You cannot receive both benefits as they do not stack but if your ex spouse's benefit is higher than your own, then you can collect that benefit.
You cannot report a death or apply for survivors benefits online. If you are having trouble getting through with the 1-800 number then it might be best to call your local Social Security office (see link to find the location and phone number: https://secure.ssa.gov/ICON/main.jsp). You can either speak to them or set up an appointment to meet in person. The national number for Social Security to report a death or apply for benefits is 1-***-***-**** (TTY 1-***-***-****). Just FYI if you had been calling a different number. it can be difficult at times to get through.
See link from Social Security website for more information: https://www.socialsecurity.gov/planners/survivors/howtoapply.html
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